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Extraordinary Long-Term-Stability in Kinetically Stabilized Amorphous Solid Dispersions of Fenofibrate

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journal contribution
posted on 07.11.2017, 00:00 by Frank Theil, Johanna Milsmann, Samuel O. Kyeremateng, Sankaran Anantharaman, Jörg Rosenberg, Holger van Lishaut
Inhibition of recrystallization of the drug substance in kinetically stabilized amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) within and beyond shelf life is still a matter of debate. Generally, these ASD systems are considered to be prone to recrystallization, but examples of their long-term stability are emerging in the literature. Since, in some cases, the formation of crystals may impact bioavailability, recrystallization may present a relevant risk for patients as it potentially lowers the effective dose of the formulation. This study shows that such metastable formulations may indeed remain amorphous even after 15 years of storage under ambient conditions. A formulation of fenofibrate stored for 15 years was compared to a freshly prepared batch. A complete physicochemical characterization regarding content, purity, water content and glass transition was conducted. The emphasis of this physicochemical characterization was on crystallinity as a critical quality attribute: polarized light microscopy (PLM) was used as the standard qualitative method and X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) as the standard quantitative method. An investigation of the crystal growth kinetics by transmission Raman spectroscopy (TRS) was conducted to build a predictive model. The model was applied successfully to predict the observed physical state of the 15-year-old samples. The observations presented here demonstrate that kinetic stabilization alone is able to prevent crystallization in ASDs over prolonged storage periods, suggesting the need for a reassessment of the risk perception for this kind of ASD formulations.