Establishing the Safe Space via Physiologically Based Biopharmaceutics Modeling. Case Study: Fevipiprant/QAW039

Publication: AAPS J
Software: GastroPlus®


Physiologically based pharmacokinetic and absorption modeling has increasingly been implemented for biopharmaceutics applications to define the safe space for drug product quality attributes such as dissolution. For fevipiprant/QAW039, simulations were performed to assess the impact of in vitro dissolution on the in vivo performance of immediate-release film-coated tablets during development and scaling up to commercial scale. A fevipiprant dissolution safe space was established using observed clinical intravenous and oral PK data from bioequivalent and non-bioequivalent formulations. Quality control dissolution profiles with tablets were used as GastroPlus™ model inputs to estimate the in vivo dissolution in the gastrointestinal tract and to simulate human exposure. The model was used to evaluate the intraluminal performance of the dosage forms and to predict the absorption rate limits for the 450 mg dose. The predictive model performance was demonstrated for various oral dosage forms (150‒500 mg), including the non-bioequivalent batches in fasted healthy adults. To define the safe space at 450 mg, simulations were performed using theoretical dissolution profiles. A specification of Q = 80% dissolved in 60 min or less for an immediate-release oral solid dosage form reflected the boundaries of the safe space. The dissolution profile of the 450 mg commercial scale batch was within a dissolution region where bioequivalence is anticipated, not near an edge of failure for dissolution, providing additional confidence to the proposed acceptance criteria. Thus, the safe space allowed for a wider than 10% dissolution difference for bioequivalent batches, superseding f2 similarity analyses.

By Alexandros Kourentas, Monika Gajewska, Wen Lin, Sundeep S. Dhareshwar, Caroline Steib-Lauer, Swarupa Kulkarni, Stefan Hirsch, Tycho Heimbach & Martin Mueller-Zsigmondy