SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V

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Vaccination is the most effective method to prevent influenza infection. However, current influenza vaccines have several limitations. Relatively long production times, limited vaccine capacity, moderate efficacy in certain populations and lack of cross-reactivity are important issues that need to be addressed. We give an overview of the current status and novel developments in the landscape of influenza vaccines from an interdisciplinary point of view. The feasibility of novel vaccine concepts not only depends on immunological or clinical outcomes, but also depends on biotechnological aspects, such as formulation and production methods, which are frequently overlooked. Furthermore, the next generation of influenza vaccines is addressed, which hopefully will bring cross-reactive influenza vaccines. These developments indicate that an exciting future lies ahead in the influenza vaccine field.

Concepts: Biotechnology, Pneumonia, Immune system, Vaccination, Influenza vaccine, Influenza, Vaccine

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Staked-in-needle prefilled syringes (SIN-PFS) are widely used for the parenteral administration of drug product solutions. During stability studies, clogging of the injection needle was observed in syringes filled with concentrated antibody solution. A prerequisite for this phenomenon is that liquid has entered the needle. In this study, we characterized the mechanism causing the entry and movement of liquid in the needle using neutron imaging without manipulating the container closure integrity of the syringe. The gas pressure difference between inside and outside of the syringe was identified as the major cause of liquid movement. The influence of external factors, such as temperature fluctuation and physical pressure on the stopper, were tested and were confirmed to have a relevant impact on the processes of liquid entering and moving inside the injection needle. In a second step, the solidification process of the liquid segments inside the needle via solvent evaporation was further investigated, and the process was found to be dependent on storage time, environmental climate and interaction between the drug product solution and the needle surface. The presence of air/liquid segments was identified as a further factor for the stochastic behavior of needle clogging. For the first time, this fundamental mechanism behind the needle clogging issue was investigated in depth and the results will help to reduce the defect rate for clogged SIN-PFS products.

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Transdermal protein delivery is a useful and attractive method for protein therapy and dermal vaccination. However, this delivery method is restricted by the low permeability of the stratum corneum. The purpose of this study was to develop a transdermal delivery system for enhancement of protein permeability into the skin. First, we prepared a transparent gel patch made of polysaccharides with gold nanorods on the gel surface and fluorescein isothiocyanate-modified ovalbumin (FITC-OVA) inside. Next, the gel patch was placed on mouse skin to allow contact with the coated gold nanorods, and irradiated by a continuous-wave laser. The laser irradiation heated the gold nanorods and the skin temperature increased to 43°C, resulting in enhanced translocation of FITC-OVA into the skin. These results confirmed the capability of the transdermal protein delivery system to perforate the stratum corneum and thus facilitate the passage of proteins across the skin.

Concepts: Polysaccharide, Polymer, Gel electrophoresis, Egg white, Epidermis, Keratin, Skin, Protein

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Monoclonal antibody and Fc fusion protein drugs are complex heterogeneous mixtures of numerous different protein variants and modifications. N-glycosylation as one of the most complex post-translational modification influences the structural characteristics of the antibodies Fc part thereby potentially modulating effector function and pharmacokinetics. Several investigations on the relationship between N-glycosylation and pharmacokinetics have been published. However, this structure - function relationship is not fully understood. In this review potential alterations with focus on N-glycosylation of mAbs and Fc fusion proteins and the possible effects on the pharmacokinetics are reviewed and the current understandings of the underlying mechanisms are described.

Concepts: Amino acid, Immune system, Immunohistochemistry, Structure, Monoclonal antibodies, Protein

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Adequate treatment of Parkinson’s patients in off periods with orally administered levodopa is hindered by a poor bioavailability and a slow onset of action. Hence, there is a need for a fast and reliable alternative as for instance via pulmonary administration of the drug. We developed a levodopa containing powder formulation for pulmonary delivery by a recently presented high dose dry powder inhaler (Cyclops). The objective was to produce the drug formulation by means of simple techniques such as micronisation, either as pure active substance or with a minimum amount of excipients. After an initial screening on dispersion behaviour, the most promising formulation in the Cyclops was characterised in vitro over a range of pressure drops (2 - 6 kPa) and doses (20, 30 and 40 mg), representative of those to be expected in practice. A co-micronised levodopa formulation with 2% l-leucine appeared to yield the best aerosol properties for inhalation and highest delivered dose reproducibility. The combination of this particular formulation and the Cyclops inhaler seems to meet the basic requirements for satisfactory deposition in the airways. This formulation is therefore expected to be a promising candidate for the treatment of Parkinson’s patients in an off period.

Concepts: Carbidopa, Period, Dose, Parkinson's disease, Neurotransmitter, Dopamine, Pharmacology, Dosage forms

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Corticosteroids and macrolide immunomodulators such as tacrolimus are effective drugs for the topical treatment of inflammatory eye diseases like allergic conjunctivitis or dry eye. However, tacrolimus is practically insoluble in aqueous solutions and is therefore currently formulated as dispersion. This leads to low bioavailability. Here, we present a novel pharmacologically acceptable, aqueous formulation of tacrolimus based on the “Marinosolv formulation platform”. Marinosolv allows the solubilization and thereby improvement of the bioavailability of many otherwise practically insoluble drugs, since dissolved drugs permeate faster into tissues, including ocular tissues. To visualize the benefits of Marinosolv in ophthalmic formulations, we investigated the permeation of a fluorescently labeled estradiol dissolved in Marinosolv compared to a formulation containing the compound as dispersion. Permeation was studied ex-vivo and in-vivo in porcine eyes. Further, we evaluated the improved permeation of topically applied tacrolimus dissolved in Marinosolv compared to a commercially available topically applied tacrolimus dispersion. The Marinosolv formulation was also compared to oral tacrolimus treatment, the standard application route for this drug in case of severe posterior uveitis. Finally, the ocular tissue levels of tacrolimus in all groups were determined using HPLC/MS. We demonstrated that tacrolimus dissolved in Marinosolv reached significantly higher levels in ocular tissues compared to the marketed topical product or after oral application and thus may be a suitable novel option for the treatment of several eye diseases, such as allergic conjunctivitis or uveitis. Thus, Marinosolv may be considered as a new vehicle for tacrolimus eye drops.

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Central nervous system (CNS) disorders (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.) represent a growing public health issue, primarily due to the increased life expectancy and the aging population. The treatment of such disorders is notably elaborate and requires the delivery of therapeutics to the brain in appropriate amounts to elicit a pharmacological response. However, despite the major advances both in neuroscience and drug delivery research, the administration of drugs to the CNS still remains elusive. It is commonly accepted that effectiveness-related issues arise due to the inability of parenterally administered macromolecules to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) in order to access the CNS, thus impeding their successful delivery to brain tissues. As a result, the direct Nose-to-Brain delivery has emerged as a powerful strategy to circumvent the BBB and deliver drugs to the brain. The present review article attempts to highlight the different experimental and computational approaches pursued so far to attain and enhance the direct delivery of therapeutic agents to the brain and shed some light on the underlying mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis and treatment of neurological disorders.

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Nutrition rich in carotenoids is well known to prevent cell damage, premature skin aging and skin cancer. Cutaneous carotenoids can be enriched in the skin by nutrition and topically applied antioxidants have shown an increase in radical protection after VIS/NIR irradiation. In this paper it was investigated whether orally administered carotenoids increase the radical scavenging activity and the radical protection of the skin using in vivo electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and the skin lipid profile was investigated applying HPTLC on skin lipid extracts. Furthermore, in vivo Raman resonance spectroscopy was used to measure the cutaneous carotenoid concentration. A double blind placebo controlled clinical study was performed with 24 healthy volunteers, who have shown a slow but significant and effective increase of cutaneous carotenoids in the verum group. The enhancement in carotenoids increases the radical scavenging activity of the skin and provides a significant protection against stress induced radical formation. Furthermore, the skin lipids in the verum group increased compared to the placebo group but only significantly for ceramide [NS]. These results indicate that a supplementation with dietary products containing carotenoids in physiological concentrations can protect the skin against reactive oxygen species and could avoid premature skin aging and other radical associated skin diseases.

Concepts: Fat, Protein, Reactive oxygen species, Oxygen, Oxidative phosphorylation, Skin, Electron paramagnetic resonance, Antioxidant

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In this review we will discuss how computational methods, and in particular classical molecular dynamics simulations, can be used to calculate solubility of pharmaceutically relevant molecules and systems. To the extent possible, we focus on the non-technical details of these calculations, and try to show also the added value of a more thorough and detailed understanding of the solubilization process obtained by using computational simulations. Although the main focus is on classical molecular dynamics simulations, we also provide the reader with some insights into other computational techniques, such as the COSMO-method, and also discuss Flory-Huggins theory and solubility parameters. We hope that this review will serve as a valuable starting point for any pharmaceutical researcher, who has not yet fully explored the possibilities offered by computational approaches to solubility calculations.

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Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common skin cancer in humans. Topical treatment with imiquimod provides a non-invasive, self-administered treatment with relatively low treatment cost. Despite displaying excellent efficacy, imiquimod is only licensed by the FDA for superficial BCC. The current work employed HPLC and ToF-SIMS analysis to provide a novel assessment of imiquimod permeation from Aldara™ cream in skin depth and lateral distribution. Using Aldara™ cream and in vitro Franz cell studies with subsequent HPLC analysis, it is apparent that most of the topically applied imiquimod cream is left on the skin surface with more than 80% of the drug being recovered from skin wash. In addition, ToF-SIMS chemical imaging of recovered tape stripped skin samples illustrated significant detection of imiquimod signal over the entire skin area for the upper tape strips, whereas the deeper strips show large portions of the skin area without detected imiquimod. Given the limited permeation depth and non-uniform permeation observed at tape strips 6 to 18 when applied as a topical imiquimod cream, a permeation enhancement strategy utilising a skin pre-treatment with a microneedle device was investigated as a method to improve intradermal delivery. The recovered amount of imiquimod in tape strips and remaining skin determined by HPLC was approximately three times higher when AldaraTM was applied on microneedle pre-treated skin relative to intact skin. The ToF-SIMS ion images of the tape strips and cross-sections illustrated the existence of imiquimod in the microchannels which then laterally diffuses to peripheral epidermal strata. The current work demonstrates the first known attempt to enhance intradermal delivery of imiquimod using a microneedle device as well as underscoring the complementary role of ToF-SIMS analysis in chemically mapping imiquimod permeation into the skin with high sensitivity.