This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 955756.

Second InPharma publication has been published

The article with our Early Stage Researcher Florentin Holzem as first author focuses on biopredictive in vitro Dissolution/Permeation setups to predict the systemic absorption and gastrointestinal supersaturation of enabling formulations.

Read the full open access article here:


The majority of new drug entities exhibits poor water solubility and therefore enabling formulations are often needed to ensure sufficient in vivo bioavailability upon oral administration. Several in vitro tools have been proposed for biopredictive screening of such drug formulations to facilitate formulation development. Among these, combined dissolution/permeation (D/P) assays have gained increasing interest in recent years, since they are presumed to better predict the absorption behavior as compared to single-compartment dissolution assays. Moreover, especially for supersaturating formulations, it has been demonstrated that the presence of an absorption sink better mimics the intraluminal supersaturation performance.

The present study aimed to investigate the biopredictive abilities of two in vitro D/P setups to predict intestinal supersaturation and systemic absorption of supersaturable systems. Experiments were performed with a µFLUX™ and PermeaLoop™ apparatus, respectively, which differ primarily in their volume-to-area ratios between donor compartment and membrane as well as in the type of biomimetic barrier. A two-stage dissolution protocol was adopted to mimic the transit from acidic stomach to more neutral intestinal fluids using biomimetic media. Three formulations of the weakly basic compound Posaconazole (PCZ), namely an acidified and a neutral suspension and an amorphous solid dispersion (ASD) tablet, were tested.

Under the present conditions, and for the specific set of formulations studied here, PermeaLoop™ showed a better biopredictive ability for intestinal supersaturation and systemic absorption for the three formulations than the µFLUX™ D/P setup. Interestingly, minor modifications of the two-stage D/P protocol in terms of medium transfer rates from simulated gastric fluid (SGF) to fasted state simulated intestinal fluid (FaSSIF) had a substantial impact particularly on the permeation of the crystalline PCZ suspension (“acidified suspension”). The ASD tablet was less sensitive to gradual medium changes than the crystalline PCZ suspensions. The current study confirms the usefulness of D/P assays for formulation ranking of weakly basic compounds and supersaturating formulations.