Many future drug products will be based on innovative manufacturing solutions, which will increase the need for a thorough understanding of the interplay between drug material properties and processability. In this study, hot melt extrusion of a drug-drug mixture with minimal amount of polymeric excipient was investigated.
Using indomethacin-cimetidine as a model drug-drug system, processability of physical mixtures with and without 5% (w/w) of polyethylene oxide (PEO) were studied using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Small Amplitude Oscillatory Shear (SAOS) rheometry. Extrudates containing a co-amorphous glass solution were produced and the solid-state composition of these was studied with DSC.
Rheological analysis indicated that the studied systems display viscosities higher than expected for small molecule melts and addition of PEO decreased the viscosity of the melt. Extrudates of indomethacin-cimetidine alone displayed amorphous-amorphous phase separation after 4 weeks of storage, whereas no phase separation was observed during the 16 week storage of the indomethacin-cimetidine extrudates containing 5% (w/w) PEO.
Melt extrusion of co-amorphous extrudates with low amounts of polymer was found to be a feasible manufacturing technique. Addition of 5% (w/w) polymer reduced melt viscosity and prevented phase separation.