The Significance of Utilizing In Vitro Transfer Model and Media Selection to Study the Dissolution Performance of Weak Ionizable Bases: Investigation Using Saquinavir as a Model Drug

Publication: AAPS PharmSciTech
Software: GastroPlus®


This study investigated the dissolution behavior of BCS class II ionizable weak base Saquinavir and its mesylate salt in the multi-compartment transfer setup employing different composition of dissolution media. The dissolution behavior of Saquinavir was studied by using a two-compartment transfer model representing the transfer of drug from the stomach (donor compartment) to the upper intestine (acceptor compartment). Various buffers like phosphate, bicarbonate, FaSSIF, and FeSSIF were employed. The dissolution was also studied in the concomitant presence of the additional solute, i.e., Quercetin. Further, the dissolution profiles of Saquinavir and its mesylate salt were simulated by GastroPlusTM, and the simulated dissolution profiles were compared against the experimental ones. The formation of in situ HCl salt and water-soluble amorphous phosphate aggregates was confirmed in the donor and acceptor compartments of the transfer setup, respectively. As the consequence of the lower solubility product of HCl salt of Saquinavir, the solubility advantage of mesylate salt was vanished leading to the lower than the predicted dissolution in the acceptor compartment. However, the formation of water-soluble aggregates in the presence of the phosphate salts was observed leading to the higher than the predicted dissolution of the free base in the transfer setup. Interestingly, the formation of such water-soluble aggregates was found to be hindered in the concomitant presence of an ionic solute resulting in the lower dissolution rates. The in situ generation of salts and aggregates in the transfer model lead to the inconsistent prediction of dissolution profiles by GastroPlusTM.