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Quantifying Disproportionation in Pharmaceutical Formulations with 35Cl Solid-State NMR

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journal contribution
posted on 17.07.2018 by David A. Hirsh, Yongchao Su, Haichen Nie, Wei Xu, Dirk Stueber, Narayan Variankaval, Robert W. Schurko
Reliable methods for the characterization of drug substances are critical for evaluating stability and bioavailability, especially in dosage formulations under varying storage conditions and usage. Such methods must also give information on the molecular identities and structures of drug substances and any potential byproducts of the formulation process, as well as providing a means of quantifying the relative amounts of these substances. For example, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are often formulated as ionic salts to improve the pharmaceutical properties of dosage forms; however, exposure of such formulations to elevated temperature and/or humidity can trigger the conversion of an ionic salt of an API to a neutral form with different properties, through a process known as disproportionation. It is particularly challenging to identify changes of pharmaceutical components in solid dosage formulations, which are complex heterogeneous mixtures of the API and excipient components (e.g., binders, disintegrants, and lubricants). In this study, we illustrate that ultra-wideline (UW) 35Cl solid-state NMR (SSNMR) can be used to characterize the disproportionation reaction of pioglitazone HCl (PiogHCl) in mixtures with metallic stearate excipients. 35Cl SSNMR can quantitatively detect the amount of PiogHCl in mixed samples within ±1 wt % and measure the degree of PiogHCl disproportionation in formulation samples stressed at high relative humidity and temperature. Unlike other methods used for characterizing disproportionation, our experiments directly probe the Cl anions in both the intact salt and disproportionation products, revealing all of the chlorine-containing products in the solid-state chemical reaction without interfering signals from the formulation excipients.