A pH-Dilution Method for Estimation of Biorelevant Drug Solubility along the Gastrointestinal Tract: Application to Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling

Publication: Mol Pharm
Software: GastroPlus®


Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling tools have become an integral part of the modern drug discovery−development process. However, accurate PK prediction of enabling formulations of poorly soluble compounds by applying PBPK modeling has been very limited. This is because current PBPK models rely only on thermodynamic drug solubility inputs (e.g., pH−solubility profile) and give little consideration to the dynamic changes in apparent drug solubility (e.g., supersaturation) that occur during gastrointestinal (GI) transit of an enabling formulation of a water insoluble drug. Moreover, biorepresentative and predictive in vitro tools to measure formulation dependent solubility changes during GI transit remain underdeveloped. In this work, we have developed an in vitro dual pH-dilution method based on rat physiology to estimate the apparent drug concentration in solution along the GI tract during release from solubility enabling formulations. This simple dual pH-dilution method was evaluated using various solubility enabling formulations (i.e., cosolvent solution, amorphous solid dispersions) made using a model early development drug candidate with poor aqueous solubility. The in vitro drug concentration−time profiles from the enabling formulations were used as solubility inputs for PBPK modeling using GastroPlus software. This resulted in excellent predictions of the in vivo oral plasma concentration−time profiles, as compared to using the traditional inputs of thermodynamic pH−solubility profiles. In summary, this work describes a novel in vitro method for facile estimation of formulation dependent GI drug concentration−time profiles and demonstrates the utility of PBPK modeling for oral PK prediction of enabling formulations of poorly soluble drugs.