The thermal characteristics and the thermal degradation of crystalline and amorphous nilotinib hydrochloride (NH) were studied. The spray drying technique was successfully utilized for the amorphization of NH and was evaluated by spectroscopic techniques and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The ethanolic spray drying process yielded amorphous NH with a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 147 °C.
Thermal characterization of the amorphous phase was performed by heat capacity measurements using modulated DSC (mDSC). Thermal degradation was studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA).
The derived thermodynamic properties of the amorphous NH indicate fragile behaviour and a low crystallization tendency.
NH was found to be molecularly stable up to 193 °C. After which, the thermal degradation displayed two phases. The values of the thermal degradation parameters were estimated using the Ozawa-Flynn-Wall and Friedman non-isothermal, model-free, isoconversional methods The results indicate the two phases to be single-step reactions.
The examination of the physical stability of amorphous NH during storage and at elevated temperatures showed stability at 180 °C for at least 5 h and at 20–25 °C/60% RH for at least 6 months. During these periods, no crystallization was observed.
This study is the first to report the thermal characteristics of NH. Additionally, it is also the first to describe the full thermal analysis of a spray-dried amorphous drug. The thermal data may be used in the projection of future production processes and storage conditions of amorphous NH.