Long-acting PLGA microspheres: Advances in excipient and product analysis toward improved product understanding

Authors: Wan B, Bao Q, Burgess DJ
Publication: Adv Drug Deliv Rev
Software: GastroPlus®


Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres are a sustained-release drug delivery system with several successful commercial products used for the treatment of a variety of diseases. By utilizing PLGA polymers with different compositions, therapeutic agents can be released over durations varying from several weeks to several months. However, precise quality control of PLGA polymers and a fundamental understanding of all the factors associated with the performance of PLGA microsphere formulations remains challenging. This knowledge gap can hinder product development of both innovator and generic products.

In this review, variability of the key release controlling excipient (PLGA), as well as advanced physicochemical characterization techniques for the PLGA polymer and PLGA microspheres are discussed. The relative merits and challenges of different in vitro release testing methods, in vivo pharmacokinetic studies, and in vitro-in vivo correlation development are also summarized. This review is intended to provide an in-depth understanding of long-acting microsphere products and consequently facilitate the development of these complex products.

By Bo Wan, Quanying Bao, Diane Burgess