In Vitro, in Silico, and in Vivo Assessments of Intestinal Precipitation and Its Impact on Bioavailability of a BCS Class 2 Basic Compound

Publication: Mol Pharm
Software: GastroPlus®


In this study, a multipronged approach of in vitro experiments, in silico simulations, and in vivostudies was developed to evaluate the dissolution, supersaturation, precipitation, and absorption of three formulations of Compound-A, a BCS class 2 weak base with pH-dependent solubility. In in vitro 2-stage dissolution experiments, the solutions were highly supersaturated with no precipitation at the low dose but increasing precipitation at higher doses. No difference in precipitation was observed between the capsules and tablets. The in vitro precipitate was found to be noncrystalline with higher solubility than the crystalline API, and was readily soluble when the drug concentration was lowered by dilution. A gastric transit and biphasic dissolution (GTBD) model was developed to better mimic gastric transfer and intestinal absorption. Precipitation was also observed in GTBD, but the precipitate redissolved and partitioned into the organic phase. In vivo data from the phase 1 clinical trial showed linear and dose proportional PK for the formulations with no evidence of in vivo precipitation. While the in vitro precipitation observed in the 2-stage dissolution appeared to overestimate in vivo precipitation, the GTBD model provided absorption profiles consistent with in vivo data. In silico simulation of plasma concentrations by GastroPlus using biorelevant in vitro dissolution data from the tablets and capsules and assuming negligible precipitation was in line with the observed in vivo profiles of the two formulations. The totality of data generated with Compound-A indicated that the bioavailability differences among the three formulations were better explained by the differences in gastric dissolution than intestinal precipitation. The lack of intestinal precipitation was consistent with several other BCS class 2 basic compounds in the literature for which highly supersaturated concentrations and rapid absorption were also observed.