Physical Stability of API/Polymer-Blend Amorphous Solid Dispersions

The preparation of amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) is a well-established strategy for formulating active pharmaceutical ingredients by embedding them in excipients, usually amorphous polymers. Different polymers can be combined for designing ASDs with desired properties like an optimized dissolution behavior. One important criterion for the development of ASD compositions is the physical stability. In this work, the physical stability of API/polymer-blend ASDs was investigated by thermodynamic modeling and stability studies. Amorphous naproxen (NAP) and acetaminophen (APAP) were embedded in blends of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose acetate succinate (HPMCAS) and either poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) or poly(vinylpyrrolidone-co-vinyl acetate) (PVPVA64). Parameters for modeling the API solubility in the blends and the glass-transition temperature curves of the water-free systems with Perturbed-Chain Statistical Associating Fluid Theory and Kwei equation, respectively, were correlated to experimental data. The phase behavior for standardized storage conditions (0%, 60% and 75% relative humidity (RH)) was predicted and compared to six months-long stability studies. According to modeling and experimental results, the physical stability was reduced with increasing HPMCAS content and increasing RH. This trend was observed for all investigated systems, with both APIs (NAP and APAP) and both polymer blends (PVP/HPMCAS and PVPVA64/HPMCAS). PC-SAFT and the Kwei equation turned out to be suitable tools for modeling and predicting the physical stability of the investigated API/polymer-blends ASDs.