Supersaturating drug delivery systems: The potential of co-amorphous drug formulations
Amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) are probably the most common and important supersaturating drug delivery systems for the formulation of poorly water-soluble compounds. These delivery systems are able to achieve and maintain a sustained drug supersaturation which enables improvement of the bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs by increasing the driving force for drug absorption. However, ASDs often require a high weight percentage of carrier (usually a hydrophilic polymer) to ensure molecular mixing of the drug in the carrier and stabilization of the supersaturated state, often leading to high dosage volumes and thereby challenges in the formulation of the final dosage form. As a response to the shortcomings of the ASDs, the so-called co-amorphous formulations, which are amorphous combinations of two or more low molecular weight components, have emerged as an alternative formulation strategy for poorly-soluble drugs. While the current research on co-amorphous formulations is focused on preparation and characterization of these systems, more detailed research on their supersaturation and precipitation behavior and the effect of co-formers on nucleation and crystal growth inhibition is needed. The current status of this research is reviewed in this paper. Furthermore, the potential of novel preparation methods for co-amorphous systems with respect to the current preparation methods are discussed.