JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Pharmacobezoar Formation From HPMC-AS-Containing Spray-Dried Formulations in Nonclinical Safety Studies in Rats.

Toxicologic Pathology 2022 December
Changing the physical state from crystalline to amorphous is an elegant method to increase the bioavailability of poorly soluble new chemical entity (NCE) drug candidates. Subsequently, we report findings from repeat-dose toxicity studies of an NCE formulated as a spray-dried amorphous solid dispersion (SD-ASD) based on hydroxypropyl methylcellulose acetate succinate (HPMC-AS) in rats. At necropsy, agglomerates of SD-ASD were found in the stomach and small intestine, which in reference to literature were termed pharmacobezoars. We interpreted the pH-dependent insolubility of HPMC-AS in the acidic gastric environment to be a precondition for pharmacobezoar formation. Gastric pharmacobezoars were not associated with clinical signs or alterations of clinical pathology parameters. Pharmacobezoar-correlated histopathological findings were limited to the stomach and consisted of atrophy, erosion, ulcer, and inflammation, predominantly of the nonglandular mucosa. Pharmacobezoars in the small intestines induced obstructive ileus with overt clinical signs which required unscheduled euthanasia, prominent alterations of clinical pathology parameters indicative of hypotonic dehydration, degenerative and inflammatory processes in the gastrointestinal tract, and secondary renal findings. The incidence of pharmacobezoars increased with dose and duration of dosing. Besides the relevance of pharmacobezoars to animal welfare, they limit the non-observed adverse effect level in nonclinical testing programs and conclusively their informative value.

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