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Profiling gene expression dynamics underpinning conventional testing approaches to better inform pre-clinical evaluation of an age appropriate spironolactone formulationThere is a need to accelerate paediatric formulation evaluation and enhance quality of early stage data in drug development to alleviate the information pinch point present between formulation development and clinical evaluation. This present work reports application of DNA microarrays as a high throughput screening tool identifying markers for prediction of bioavailability and formulation driven physiological responses. With a focus on enhancing paediatric medicine provision, an oral liquid spironolactone suspension was formulated addressing a paediatric target product profile. Caco-2 cells cultured on transwell inserts were implemented in transport assays in vitro and DNA microarrays were used to examine gene expression modulation. Wistar rats were used to derive in vivo bioavailability data. In vitro, genomic, and in vivo data sets were concurrently evaluated linking drug transport and the genomic fingerprint generated by spironolactone formulation exposure. Significant changes in gene expression are reported as a result of formulation exposure. These include genes coding for ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, solute carrier (SLC) transporters, cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, and carboxylesterase enzymes. Genomic findings better inform pre-clinical understanding of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic responses to spironolactone and its active metabolites than current in vitro drug transport assays alone.
Psyllium: a promising polymer for sustained release formulations in combination with HPMC polymers.Psyllium has a mucilaginous property that makes it a good candidate to be utilized as an excipient in the preparation of controlled release systems. Various formulations were prepared using theophylline as a model drug and investigated with a view to achieve an ideal slow drug release profile. The addition of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) to psyllium significantly reduced the burst release; however, the percentage of drug release within a 12 h period was too slow and thereby inadequate. This was overcome by the addition of lactose as a hydrophilic filler that enabled a slow release with roughly 80% drug release in 12 h. The inclusion of HPMC within psyllium formulations changed the drug release kinetics from Fickian diffusion to anomalous transport. Granulated formulations demonstrated slower drug release than ungranulated or physical mixture and caused a change in the dissolution kinetics from Fickian diffusion to anomalous transport. Milled granules showed more efficient controlled drug release with no burst release. Milling of the granules also changed the drug release kinetics to anomalous transport. Although psyllium was proved to be a promising polymer to control the drug release, a combination of psyllium-HPMC and formulation processes should be considered in an attempt to achieve a zero-order release.