pH-dependent solubility and permeability profiles: A useful tool for prediction of oral bioavailability

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pH-dependent solubility - permeability profiles offer a simple way to predict bioavailability after oral application, if bioavailability is only solubility and permeability driven. Combining both pH-dependent solubility and pH-dependent permeability in one diagram provides a pH-window (= ΔpHsol-perm) from which the conditions for optimal oral bioavailability can be taken. The size of this window is directly proportional to the observed oral bioavailability. A set of 21 compounds, with known absolute human oral bioavailability, was used to establish this correlation. Compounds with ΔpHsol-perm < 2 exhibit poor oral bioavailability (<25%). An increase of ΔpHsol-perm by one pH-unit increases oral bioavailability typically by approximately 25%. For compounds where ΔpHsol-perm ≥ 3 but still showing poor bioavailability, most probably other pharmacokinetic aspects (e.g. high clearance), are limiting exposure. Interestingly, the location of this pH-window seems to have a negligible influence on the observed oral bioavailability. In scenarios, where the bioavailability is impaired by certain factors, like for example proton pump inhibitor co-medication or food intake, the exact position of this pH-window might be beneficial for understanding the root cause.

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