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Prodrug strategies to overcome poor water solubility

Prodrug strategies to overcome poor water solubility. Pharmaceutical Technology. Prodrugs.

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Prodrug strategies to overcome poor water solubility

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  1. Prodrug strategies to overcome poor water solubility Pharmaceutical Technology HA.PT

  2. Prodrugs • Historically, the term prodrug or proagent was coined in the late 1950s to denote chemical derivatives that could temporarily alter the physicochemical properties of drugs in order to increase their therapeutic utility and reduce associated toxicity. HA.PT

  3. Prodrugs • Prodrugs also have been synonymously referred to as latentiated drugs, bioreversible derivatives, and congeners. • However, the term prodrug gained wider acceptance and usually describes compounds that undergo chemical transformation within the body prior to exhibiting pharmacologic activity. Some of the earliest examples of prodrugs are methenamine (antibiotic, UTI) and aspirin. HA.PT

  4. Rationale for Prodrug Design • A large number of the new molecular entities with promising therapeutic profiles are dropped from the screening stage because of their inferior physicochemical and biopharmaceutical properties. • These undesired properties result in poor absorption, extensive metabolism, and low bioavailability because of physical, biological, or metabolic barriers. • If the chemical structure of the drug or lead compound can be modified to overcome these barriers and then revert to the pharmacologically active form, the drug can be delivered efficiently. HA.PT

  5. Rationale for Prodrug Design • The objective of designing of prodrugs is to achieve: • Favorable physicochemical characteristics (e.g., chemical stability, solubility, taste, or odor) • Favorable biopharmaceutical properties (e.g., oral absorption, first-pass metabolism, permeability across biological membranes such as the blood-brain barrier, or reduced toxicity) • Favorable pharmacodynamic properties (e.g., reduced pain or irritation). HA.PT

  6. Rationale for Prodrug Design • Meeting a single objective often addresses others; for example, improved solubility may simultaneously address low absorption and bioavailability and provide an improved plasma concentration-time profile. HA.PT

  7. Principles of Prodrug Design • Successful design of prodrug-based controlled delivery systems is generally based on efficient transformation of the promoiety into the active drug in vivo at the desired organ or tissue. • Despite the diversity in chemical structure, most prodrugs can be classified on the basis of a common chemical linkage (e.g., esters, amides, and salts). • Some unconventional prodrug approaches include conjugates of drug with cyclodextrins, microsphere encapsulated prodrugs using biodegradable polyester microspheres, and lysosome-associated hydrophobic prodrugs. HA.PT

  8. Enhancement of solubility/dissolution through prodrug formation HA.PT

  9. Enhancement of solubility/dissolution through prodrug formation • To solve the problem of poor solubility/dissolution of a drug through prodrug formation we must understand the reason why is the compound exhibiting poor solubility: • Is the molecule one that displays high crystallinity, a “brick dust” molecule, or • is it a low melting or “grease ball” molecule? • Obviously, a continuum exists, with most molecules not fitting either extreme. HA.PT

  10. Enhancement of solubility/dissolution through prodrug formation • If the molecule has the characteristics of a “grease ball” molecule and usual formulation approaches do not work, solubility enhancement through the use of a polar promoiety may prove useful. • If one has a “brick dust” molecule a polar promoiety may work, as might strategies that disrupt the intermolecular interactions that led to the high crystallinity HA.PT

  11. Enhancement of solubility/dissolution through prodrug formation HA.PT

  12. Addition of polar functionalities • Conventional wisdom dictates that placing a polar functional group in the structure of a molecule with limited aqueous solubility should enhance solubility. • In the case of a prodrug, that functionality would have to be removed/modified, either chemically or enzymatically, to regenerate the parent drug. HA.PT

  13. Addition of polar functionalities • Placing a non-ionizable functionality in the structure may meet the solubility enhancing goal if improved solvation compensates for any increase in intermolecular interactions occur in the crystal. • An excellent example of a non-ionizable group used to effect better oral delivery is the drug sulindac as a more water-soluble delivery form of its sulfide metabolite, which is an effective NSAID. • The sulfoxide group is more polar, and therefore has better interaction with the solvent than the reduced sulfide. HA.PT

  14. Addition of polar functionalities • The drug albendazole is also reversibly metabolized to its sulfoxide. Here the albendazole sulfoxide is not only the more active component but is much more water-soluble. • That is, the innovators in this case chose the wrong molecule to develop; the active drug had better properties than its precursor. “In their defense, this is an older drug and at the time it was developed it was not known that the sulfoxide was the more active component”. HA.PT

  15. Addition of polar functionalities HA.PT

  16. Addition of polar functionalities • Many prodrugs designed to increase water solubility involve the addition of an ionizable promoiety to the parent molecule. • Because charged molecules have greater difficulty crossing biological membranes, one must balance increased water solubility with the potential for decreased permeability. HA.PT

  17. Addition of polar functionalities • One might argue that a phosphate ester of a drug with an alcohol functionality in its structure would produce a poorly, membrane permeable prodrug. • However, phosphate esters have been shown to be very effective at improving the delivery of poorly water-soluble parent drug molecules after oral delivery. HA.PT

  18. Addition of polar functionalities • For R–OH, a highly permeable drug, bioavailability after oral dosing is limited by slow dissolution. • The prodrug, R–OPO3= is much more soluble, rapidly dissolves in the content of the GIT but is cleaved to R–OH by the presence of the enzyme, alkaline phosphatase, seen in abundance on the brush border surface of the cells lining the small intestine, the enterocytes. • R–OH, being permeable, readily crosses the enterocyte membranes and enters the systemic circulation. HA.PT

  19. Addition of polar functionalities • limitations of this approach: • The phosphate prodrug must be a good substrate for alkaline phosphatase • R–OH must be permeable once cleaved • Too rapid a cleavage of a very insoluble R–OH can result in precipitation of R–OH, and thus poor re-dissolution HA.PT

  20. Addition of polar functionalities • Fosamprenavir, a phosphate prodrug of the HIV protease inhibitor, amprenavir. • Amprenavir was originally formulated in a 150 mg capsule containing TPGS (d-alpha tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate ), PEG 400 and propylene glycol, requiring patients to take 8 capsules to achieve a dose of 1200 mg twice a day • This puts amprenavir at a competitive disadvantage to other lower dose and more conveniently administered antiAIDS drugs. HA.PT

  21. Addition of polar functionalities • Amprenavir has a secondary alcohol group in its structure that was synthetically phosphorylated to produce fosamprenavir. • The commercial success of fosamprenavir has made an impact. • Fosamprenavir is in the form of a calcium salt which is approximately 10 times more soluble than amprenavir. HA.PT

  22. Addition of polar functionalities • Because of this superior solubility, even more so at low pH values where the calcium salt dissociates, fosamprenavir can be formulated as a 700 mg tablet (equivalent to 600 mg of amprenavir) thus reducing the dosing to 2 tablets twice a day. • The oral availability of amprenavir from fosamprenavir is essentially equivalent to amprenavir from the original capsules. HA.PT

  23. Addition of polar functionalities HA.PT

  24. Addition of polar functionalities • Fosphenytoin, a prodrug of phenytoin. • Although fosphenytoin is not marketed for oral use, it results in very good oral delivery of phenytoin, an erratically absorbed, poorly water-soluble drug HA.PT

  25. Addition of polar functionalities • Phenytoin does not have a ready “handle” on to which a phosphate group can be attached. • However, it has been recognized that phenytoin reacts with formaldehyde under basic pH conditions to form 3-hydroxymethylphenytoin. • In the absence of excess formaldehyde, 3-hydroxymethylphenytoin, at physiological pH and temperature, readily releases the formaldehyde with a half-life in the order of a few seconds. Thus the hydroxyl group on 3-hydroxymethylphenytoin provides a synthetic “handle” that can be phosphorylated to produce fosphenytoin. HA.PT

  26. Addition of polar functionalities • This example demonstrates the use of as “spacer” or “linker” group in prodrug chemistry, whereby a specific function group can be attached not to the molecule itself but via the spacer group. HA.PT

  27. Addition of polar functionalities HA.PT

  28. Addition of polar functionalities • Phosphate groups are not the only way to increase water solubility. • Some prodrugs employ an amine group capable of being protonated to form a more water-soluble salt. • Unlike the phosphate group, amine group containing prodrugs are often capable of being absorbed intact from the GIT because the neutral free-base form of the drug is present in sufficient quantities to allow permeation across biomembranes. HA.PT

  29. Decreased crystal packing • A strategy not often considered to effect better oral delivery of poorly soluble drugs is one that attempts to convert a “brick dust” molecule to a “grease ball” molecule. • Noyes–Whitney model describes the dissolution rate (DR) of a drug under sink conditions, HA.PT

  30. Decreased crystal packing • Although this equation has some limitations, it illustrates that DR should be proportional to solubility, Cs, but solubility in what? • Because of the presence of mixed micelles of bile salts and lecithin as well as food digestion products, the GIT presents an environment favorable to dissolving the poorly soluble, lipophilic compouds. HA.PT

  31. Decreased crystal packing • The N–H at the 3-position of phenytoin is known to hydrogen bond with the carbonyl of a second phenytoin molecule. Thus, removing or blocking the N–H group at the 3-position dramatically changes the properties of the molecule. • The melting points of a series of 3-acyloxymethyl prodrugs of phenytoin is shown along with their solubility in water, cyclohexane and in a bile salt/lecithin mixture used to simulate the GIT contents (referred to by the acronym SIBLM, for simulated bile salt, lecithin mixture). HA.PT

  32. Decreased crystal packing HA.PT

  33. Decreased crystal packing • Note the melting behavior of the pentanoyl- (C4H8CO-) and octanoyl- (C7H15CO-) derivatives, which have melting points lower than their higher and lower homologs, and the relationship between melting point and the solubility of the various prodrugs in the hydrocarbon solvent, cyclohexane. • Clearly if one were to only consider water solubility and DR in water, phenytoin itself would be the superior candidate. When one considers the DR in the SIBLM however, the choice becomes less clear, with the DR of the octanoate prodrug superior to that of phenytoin in this medium HA.PT

  34. Decreased crystal packing • The oral, absolute bioavailability of phenytoin from phenytoin, the pentanoate and the octanoate was assessed in fed and fasted dogs. HA.PT

  35. Decreased crystal packing • The bioavailability of phenytoin from the two prodrugs is superior in both the fed and fasted state despite their lower aqueous solubility. In the fed state, phenytoin bioavailability from the pentanoate and the octanoate is close to complete, even though the octanoate had limited aqueous solubility and no measurable DR in water. HA.PT

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