Evaluation of the drug release patterns and long term stability of aqueous and organic coated pellets by using blends of enteric and gastrointestinal insoluble polymers.
ABSTRACT The major aim of this study was to identify an efficient tool to adjust drug release patterns from aqueous and organic ethylcellulose (a gastrointestinal insoluble polymer) coated pellets and to evaluate the long term stability of the film coatings. Drug release was monitored during open and closed storage at 25 degrees C/60% RH (ambient conditions) and 40 degrees C/75% RH (stress conditions) for up to 24 months. Release of vatalanib succinate, a poorly soluble drug that demonstrates pH-dependent solubility, from pure ethylcellulose coated pellets was slow irrespectively of the type of coating and release medium. By addition of the enteric polymer methacrylic acid/ethyl acrylate copolymer (applied as aqueous Kollicoat MAE 30 DP dispersion or organic solution of Kollicoat MAE 100 P) to ethylcellulose broad ranges of drug release patterns could be achieved. For aqueous film coatings the addition of Kollicoat MAE 30 DP to ethylcellulose dispersions resulted in unaltered drug release kinetics during closed storage at ambient and stress conditions. The storage stabilizing effect of the added enteric polymer might be explained by the more hydrophilic nature of Kollicoat MAE 30 DP compared to ethylcellulose trapping water during film formation and improving polymer particle coalescence. However, during open storage of aqueous coated ethylcellulose:Kollicoat MAE 30 DP pellets at stress conditions drug release decreased due to further gradual polymer particle coalescence. In contrast, drug release rates from organic coated ethylcellulose:Kollicoat MAE 100 P pellets stored at ambient and stress conditions did not change which could be explained by differences in the film formation process. This clearly indicates that the presented concept of the addition of methacrylic acid/ethyl acrylate copolymer to ethylcellulose film coatings in combination with an organic coating process is able to achieve broad ranges of drug release patterns and to overcome storage instability.