Characterizing the Dissolution Profiles of Supersaturable Salts, Cocrystals, and Solvates to Enhance In Vivo Oral Absorption

Publication: Eur J Pharm Biopharm


The purposes of this study were to elucidate the type-specific characteristics of salt, cocrystal, and solvate formulations upon dissolution and precipitation, and to clarify their effect on enhancing oral absorption. Several types of solid formulations (dantrolene sodium salt [DAN-NA], pioglitazone hydrochloride salt [PIO-HCL], megestrol acetate saccharin cocrystal [MEG-SA], and an in-house compound ZR ethanolate [ZR-ETH]) that induce supersaturation of BCS class II drugs were compared to their crystalline free forms. An in vitrominiscale dissolution test in biorelevant media was used to characterize their dissolution profiles and residue forms. Both salts (DAN-NA and PIO-HCL) rapidly reached the maximum concentration within 5 min, whereas the cocrystal (MEG-SA) did so slowly. After the maximum concentration had been reached, the dissolved concentrations of DAN-NA, PIO-HCL, and MEG-SA decreased, but that of ZR-ETH did not. Time-dependent XRPD analysis revealed that the initial solid state of each salt dissolved within 5 min, whereas the cocrystal remained for more than 10 min, and the solvate remained for 4 h. It also revealed that PIO-HCL and MEG-SA precipitated to the stable free form, while DAN-NA precipitated to the metastable form, which maintains a higher concentration than the stable free form continuously. In vivo absorption in beagle dogs was also examined. The plasma AUC of DAN-NA, MEG-SA, and ZR-ETH was respectively 1.5-, 2.1-, and 11-fold more than each free form. On the other hand, the absorption of PIO-HCL was not enhanced compared with its free form. The results in the present study clarified that not only the precipitation rate and the form of precipitation but also the retention of the initial solid state in the absorption process contribute to enhancing the in vivo absorption of Class II drugs from solid formulations such as salts, solvates, and cocrystals.