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The focus of this study was to investigate the possibility of producing ibuprofen-nicotinamide (IBU-NIC) and ibuprofen-isonicotinamide (IBU-INA) cocrystal-containing granules, using a one-step fluidized bed dryer granulation manufacturing process, and evaluate their mechanical properties. Pharmaceutical cocrystals represent a suitable strategy to improve properties of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), such as solubility and processability. Ibuprofen (IBU) is a small molecule API which can form cocrystals with different coformers, including NIC and INA. An improvement in mechanical properties for IBU-NIC cocrystals relative to IBU was previously reported but, to date, the formulation of IBU cocrystals in a solid dosage form has not been investigated. In situ cocrystallization and granulation were achieved concurrently by processing in a lab-scale fluidized bed granulator following a design of experiment (DoE) approach using a two-level factorial design with both process and formulation variables. Solid-state, micrometric, dissolution, and mechanical (tabletability) characteristics of granules were assessed post-processing. Granules containing cocrystals were successfully prepared for 11 of 16 DoE runs. Parameters with a significant effect on granule drug loading, flow function, porosity, and size could be identified from the DoE model. Process yield was increased by using a high inlet temperature at high solution feed rate. To avoid the formation of sticky particles, caking and over-wetting of the powder during the process, the utilization of high inlet temperature, low API + coformer:filler ratio, low API concentration in solution and low solution feed rate were suggested by the model. The multivariable model developed enables accurate optimization of the granulation process for IBU cocrystals.


V Todaro, A M Healy. Development and characterization of ibuprofen co-crystals granules prepared via fluidized bed granulation in a one-step process - a design of experiment approach. Drug development and industrial pharmacy. 2021 Feb;47(2):292-301

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PMID: 33496638

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