Quality by design - Spray drying of insulin intended for inhalation

Morten Jonas Maltesen, Simon Bjerregaard, Lars Hovgaard, Svend Havelund, Marco van de Weert
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 2008, 70 (3): 828-38
Quality by design (QBD) refers to a holistic approach towards drug development. Important parts of QBD include definition of final product performance and understanding of formulation and process parameters. Inhalation of proteins for systemic distribution requires specific product characteristics and a manufacturing process which produces the desired product. The objective of this study was to understand the spray drying process of insulin intended for pulmonary administration. In particular, the effects of process and formulation parameters on particle characteristics and insulin integrity were investigated. Design of experiments (DOE) and multivariate data analysis were used to identify important process parameters and correlations between particle characteristics. The independent parameters included the process parameters nozzle, feed, and drying air flow rate and drying air temperature along with the insulin concentration as a formulation parameter. The dependent variables included droplet size, geometric particle size, aerodynamic particle size, yield, density, tap density, moisture content, outlet temperature, morphology, and physical and chemical integrity. Principal component analysis was performed to find correlations between dependent and independent variables. Prediction equations were obtained for all dependent variables including both interaction and quadratic terms. Overall, the insulin concentration was found to be the most important parameter, followed by inlet drying air temperature and the nozzle gas flow rate. The insulin concentration mainly affected the particle size, yield and tap density, while the inlet drying air temperature mainly affected the moisture content. No change was observed in physical and chemical integrity of the insulin molecule.

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