Influence of raw material properties upon critical quality attributes of continuously produced granules and tablets

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Abstract

Continuous manufacturing gains more and more interest within the pharmaceutical industry. The International Conference of Harmonisation (ICH) states in its Q8 ‘Pharmaceutical Development’ guideline that the manufacturer of pharmaceuticals should have an enhanced knowledge of the product performance over a range of raw material attributes, manufacturing process options and process parameters. This fits further into the Process Analytical Technology (PAT) and Quality by Design (QbD) framework. The present study evaluates the effect of variation in critical raw material properties on the critical quality attributes of granules and tablets, produced by a continuous from-powder-to-tablet wet granulation line. The granulation process parameters were kept constant to examine the differences in the end product quality caused by the variability of the raw materials properties only. Theophylline–Lactose–PVP (30–67.5–2.5%) was used as model formulation. Seven different grades of theophylline were granulated. Afterward, the obtained granules were tableted. Both the characteristics of granules and tablets were determined. The results show that differences in raw material properties both affect their processability and several critical quality attributes of the resulting granules and tablets.

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