Pharmaceutical cocrystals, salts and polymorphs: Advanced characterization techniques

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The main goal of a novel drug development is to obtain it with optimal physiochemical, pharmaceutical and biological properties. Pharmaceutical companies and scientists modify active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), which often are cocrystals, salts or carefully selected polymorphs, to improve the properties of a parent drug. To find the best form of a drug, various advanced characterization methods should be used. In this review, we have described such analytical methods, dedicated to solid drug forms. Thus, diffraction, spectroscopic, thermal and also pharmaceutical characterization methods are discussed. They all are necessary to study a solid API in its intrinsic complexity from bulk down to the molecular level, gain information on its structure, properties, purity and possible transformations, and make the characterization efficient, comprehensive and complete. Furthermore, these methods can be used to monitor and investigate physical processes, involved in the drug development, in situ and in real time. The main aim of this paper is to gather information on the current advancements in the analytical methods and highlight their pharmaceutical relevance.

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