High dose nanocrystalline solid dispersion powder of voriconazole for inhalation

In the current work, we aimed to deliver high dose of voriconazole (VRC) to lung through dry powder for inhalation (DPIs). Furthermore, the research tested the hypothesis that drug nanocrystals can escape the clearance mechanisms in lung by virtue of their size and rapid dissolution. High dose nanocrystalline solid dispersion (NCSD) based DPI of VRC was prepared using a novel spray drying process. Mannitol (MAN) and soya lecithin (LEC) were used as crystallization inducer and stabilizer, respectively. The powders were characterized for physicochemical and aerodynamic properties. Chemical interactions contributing to generation and stabilization of VRC nanocrystals in the matrix of MAN were established using computational studies. Performance of NCSD (VRC-N) was compared with microcrystalline solid dispersion (VRC-M) in terms of dissolution, uptake in A549 and RAW 264.7 cells. Plasma and lung distribution of VRC-N and VRC-M in Balb/c mice upon insufflation was compared with the intravenous product.

In VRC-N, drug nanocrystals of size 645.86 ± 56.90 nm were successfully produced at VRC loading of 45%. MAN created physical barrier to crystal growth by interacting with N- of triazole and F- of pyrimidine ring of VRC. An increase in drug loading to 60% produced VRC crystals of size 4800 ± 200 nm (VRC-M). The optimized powders were crystalline and showed deposition at stage 2 and 3 in NGI. In comparison to VRC-M, more than 80% of VRC-N dissolved rapidly in around 5–10 mins, therefore, showed higher and lower drug uptake into A549 and RAW 264.7 cells, respectively. In contrast to intravenous product, insufflation of VRC-N and VRC-M led to higher drug concentrations in lung in comparison to plasma. VRC-N showed higher lung AUC0-24 due to escape of macrophage clearance.

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Amanpreet Kaur, Gurudutt Dubey, Nisha Sharma, Rajat Pant, Prasad V. Bharatam, Kulbhushan Tikoo, Arvind K. Bansal,
High dose nanocrystalline solid dispersion powder of voriconazole for inhalation,
International Journal of Pharmaceutics,
Volume 622, 2022, 121827, ISSN 0378-5173,

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