Regulatory Perspectives on Strength-Dependent Dissolution Profiles and Biowaiver Approaches for Immediate Release (IR) Oral Tablets in New Drug Applications

Publication: AAPS J
Software: GastroPlus®
Division: Simulations Plus


Dissolution profile comparisons are used by the pharmaceutical industry to assess the similarity in the dissolution characteristics of two formulations to decide whether the implemented changes, usually minor/moderate in nature, will have an impact on the in vitro/in vivo performance of the drug product. When similarity testing is applied to support the approval of lower strengths of the same formulation, the traditional approach for dissolution profile comparison is not always applicable for drug products exhibiting strength-dependent dissolution and may lead to incorrect conclusions about product performance. The objective of this article is to describe reasonable biopharmaceutic approaches for developing a biowaiver strategy for low solubility, proportionally similar/non-proportionally similar in composition immediate release drug products that exhibit strength-dependent dissolution profiles. The paths highlighted in the article include (1) approaches to address biowaiver requests, such as the use of multi-unit dissolution testing to account for sink condition differences between the higher and lower strengths; (2) the use of a single- vs. strength-dependent dissolution method; and (3) the use of single- vs. strength-dependent dissolution acceptance criteria. These approaches are cost- and time-effective and can avoid unnecessary bioequivalence studies.

By Sandra Suarez-Sharp