Comparison of in vitro tests at various levels of complexity for the prediction of in vivo performance of lipid-based formulations: Case studies with fenofibrate.

European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V

PubMedID: 24184675

Griffin BT, Kuentz M, Vertzoni M, Kostewicz ES, Fei Y, Faisal W, Stillhart C, O'Driscoll CM, Reppas C, Dressman JB. Comparison of in vitro tests at various levels of complexity for the prediction of in vivo performance of lipid-based formulations: Case studies with fenofibrate. Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2013;.
The objectives of this study were to characterise three prototype fenofibrate lipid-based formulations using a range of in vitro tests with differing levels of complexity and to assess the extent to which these methods provide additional insight into in vivo findings. Three self-emulsifying drug delivery systems (SEDDS) were prepared: a long chain (LC) Type IIIA SEDDS, a medium chain (MC) Type IIIA SEDDS, and a Type IIIB/IV SEDDS containing surfactants only (SO). Dilution, dispersion and digestion tests were performed to assess solubilisation and precipitation behaviour in vitro. Focussed beam reflectance measurements and solid state characterisation of the precipitate was conducted. Oral bioavailability was evaluated in landrace pigs. Dilution and dispersion testing revealed that all three formulations were similar in terms of maintaining fenofibrate in a solubilised state on dispersion in biorelevant media. During in vitro digestion, the Type IIIA formulations displayed limited drug precipitation (<5%), whereas the Type IIIB/IV formulation displayed extensive drug precipitation (~70% dose). Solid state analysis confirmed that precipitated fenofibrate was crystalline. The oral bioavailability was similar for the three lipid formulations (65-72%). In summary, the use of LC versus MC triglycerides in Type IIIA SEDDS had no impact on the bioavailability of fenofibrate. The extensive precipitation observed with the Type IIIB/IV formulation during in vitro digestion did not adversely impact fenofibrate bioavailability in vivo, relative to the Type IIIA formulations. These results were predicted suitably using in vitro dilution and dispersion testing, whereas the in vitro digestion method failed to predict the outcome of the in vivo study.