Establishing the Bioequivalence Safe Space for Immediate-Release Oral Dosage Forms Using Physiologically Based Biopharmaceutics Modeling (PBBM): Case Studies

Publication: J Pharm Sci
Software: GastroPlus®


For oral drug products, in vitro dissolution is the most used surrogate of in vivo dissolution and absorption. In the context of drug product quality, safe space is defined as the boundaries of in vitro dissolution, and relevant quality attributes, within which drug product variants are expected to be bioequivalent to each other. It would be highly desirable if the safe space could be established via a direct link between available in vitro data and in vivo pharmacokinetics. In response to the challenges with establishing in vitro-in vivo correlations (IVIVC) with traditional modeling approaches, physiologically based biopharmaceutics modeling (PBBM) has been gaining increased attention. In this manuscript we report five case studies on using PBBM to establish a safe space for BCS Class 2 and 4 across different companies, including applications in an industrial setting for both internal decision making or regulatory applications. The case studies provide an opportunity to reflect on practical vs. ideal datasets for safe space development, the methodologies for incorporating dissolution data in the model and the criteria used for model validation and application. PBBM and safe space, still represent an evolving field and more examples are needed to drive development of best practices.

By Tycho Heimbach, Filippos Kesisoglou, Jasmina Novakovic, Christophe Tistaert, Martin Mueller-Zsigmondy, Sivacharan Kollipara, Tausif Ahmed, Amitava Mitra, Sandra Suarez-Sharp