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Strack, Patrick; Kuelzer, Raimund; Sommer, Florian; Bretschneider, Tom; Merkel, Olivia M.; Grube, Achim (2020): A smart approach to enable preclinical studies in pharmaceutical industry: PLGA-based extended release formulation platform for subcutaneous applications. In: Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, Vol. 46, No. 4: pp. 635-645
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Abstract

Objective: Validation of a prospective new therapeutic concept in a proof of concept study is costly and time-consuming. In particular, pharmacologically active tool compounds often lack suitable pharmacokinetic (PK) properties for subsequent studies. The current work describes a PLGA-based formulation platform, encapsulating different preclinical research compounds into extended release microparticles, to optimize their PK properties after subcutaneous administration. Methods: Different model compounds were encapsulated into PLGA microparticles, utilizing emulsification solvent evaporation or spray drying techniques. Formulations aiming different release rates were manufactured and characterized. Optimized formulations were assessed in in vivo studies to determine their PK properties, with the mean residence time (MRT) as one key PK parameter. Results: Utilizing both manufacturing methods, tested tool compounds were encapsulated successfully, with a drug load between 5% and 40% w/w, and an extended release time up to 250 h. In the following PK studies, the MRT was extended by a factor of 90, resulting in prolonged coverage of the required target through level. This approach was confirmed to be equally successful for additional internal compounds, verifying a general applicability of the platform. Conclusion: For different active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), an optimized, tailor-made PK profile was obtained utilizing the described formulation platform. This approach is applicable for a variety of pharmacologically active tool compounds, reducing timelines and costs in preclinical research.