Statistical investigation of the full concentration range of fasted and fed simulated intestinal fluid on the equilibrium solubility of oral drugs
Upon oral administration the solubility of a drug in intestinal fluid is a key property influencing bioavailability. It is also recognised that simple aqueous solubility does not reflect intestinal solubility and to optimise in vitro investigations simulated intestinal media systems have been developed. Simulated intestinal media which can mimic either the fasted or fed state consists of multiple components each of which either singly or in combination may influence drug solubility, a property that can be investigated by a statistical design of experiment technique. In this study a design of experiment covering the full range from the lower limit of fasted to the upper limit of fed parameters and using a small number of experiments has been performed. The measured equilibrium solubility values are comparable with literature values for simulated fasted and fed intestinal fluids as well as human fasted and fed intestinal fluids. The equilibrium solubility data range is statistically equivalent to a combination of published fasted and fed design of experiment data in six (indomethacin, phenytoin, zafirlukast, carvedilol, fenofibrate and probucol) drugs with three (aprepitant, tadalafil and felodipine) drugs not equivalent. In addition the measured equilibrium solubility data sets were not normally distributed. Further studies will be required to determine the reasons for these results however it implies that a single solubility measurement without knowledge of the solubility distribution will be of limited value. The statistically significant media factors which promote equilibrium solubility (pH, sodium oleate and bile salt) were in agreement with published results but the number of determined significant factors and factor interactions was fewer in this study, lecithin for example did not influence solubility. This may be due to the reduction in statistical sensitivity from the lower number of experimental data points or the fact that using the full range will examine media parameters ratios that are not biorelevant. Overall the approach will provide an estimate of the solubility range and the most important media factors but will not be equivalent to larger scale focussed studies. Further investigations will be required to determine why some drugs do not produce equivalent DoE solubility distributions, for example combined fasted and fed DoE, but this simply may be due to the complexity and individuality of the interactions between a drug and the media components.