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Journal: Pharmaceutics


Jevtana® is a micellar cabazitaxel (CBZ) solution that was approved for prostate cancer in 2010, and recently, this drug has been reported for breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the mediated delivery of CBZ via liposomes and nanoparticles (NPs) for the treatment of breast cancer and compare these with a micellar formulation that is currently in clinical use. CBZ-loaded nanocarriers were prepared with particle sizes between 70⁻110 nm, and with the sustained in vitro release of CBZ for more than 28 days. Cytotoxicity studies on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells demonstrated the toxic potential of these nanocarriers. Cellular internalization revealed that NPs and liposomes have better permeability than micelles. Cell cycle analysis and apoptosis studies on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells confirmed G2/M phase arrest as well as cell death due to apoptosis and necrosis, where formulations were found to be effective compared to a micellar CBZ solution. Results from pharmacokinetic studies revealed that there is an increased circulation half-life and mean residence time for CBZ liposomes and NPs in comparison with a micellar CBZ solution. CBZ liposomes and NPs showed a reduction in hemolysis and neutropenia in comparison with a micellar CBZ solution in rats.


Biofilm targeting represents a great challenge for effective antimicrobial therapy. Increased biofilm resistance, even with the elevated concentrations of very potent antimicrobial agents, often leads to failed therapeutic outcome. Application of biocompatible nanomicrobials, particularly liposomally-associated nanomicrobials, presents a promising approach for improved drug delivery to bacterial cells and biofilms. Versatile manipulations of liposomal physicochemical properties, such as the bilayer composition, membrane fluidity, size, surface charge and coating, enable development of liposomes with desired pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles. This review attempts to provide an unbiased overview of investigations of liposomes destined to treat bacterial biofilms. Different strategies including the recent advancements in liposomal design aiming at eradication of existing biofilms and prevention of biofilm formation, as well as respective limitations, are discussed in more details.

Concepts: Archaea, Bacteria, Microbiology, Cell membrane, Membrane biology, Biofilm, Antimicrobial


Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) acts as an outer blood-retinal barrier that limits the access of circulating xenobiotics to the eye. In addition, the RPE limits posterior elimination of intravitreally injected drugs to circulation. Thus, permeation in the RPE has a significant effect on ocular pharmacokinetics. The RPE is also a potentially important drug target in age-related macular degeneration. Therefore, the cell models of the RPE are important tools in ocular drug development, but poor availability and problems in reproducibility limit the use of primary RPE cell cultures. Furthermore, the best and widely used human cell line ARPE19 requires specialized culture conditions and a long time for cellular differentiation. In this paper, we describe a cell population arisen from the ARPE19 culture, with fast differentiation and improved barrier properties. This cell line, LEPI, forms clear microvilli and rapidly displays RPE-like cobblestone morphology after subculture in simple culture conditions. The LEPI cells show RPE-specific functions and expression of RPE65, ezrin, and BEST1 proteins. On filter, the LEPI cells develop tighter barrier than the ex vivo bovine RPE-choroid: permeability coefficients of beta-blockers (atenolol, nadolol, timolol, pindolol, metoprolol, betaxolol) ranged from 0.4 × 10-6 cm/sec to 2.3 × 10-6 cm/sec depending on the drug lipophilicity. This rapidly differentiating cell line will be an asset in ocular studies since it is easily maintained, it grows and differentiates quickly and does not require specialized culture conditions for differentiation. Thus, this cell line is suitable for both small scale assays and high throughput screening in drug discovery and development.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising technique for cancer treatment; however, low tissue permeability for irradiating light and insufficient photosensitizer (PS) accumulation in tumors limit its clinical potential. Nanoparticles are engineered to improve selective drug delivery to tumor sites, but its accumulation is highly variable between tumors and patients. Identifying PS accumulation peak in a personalized manner is crucial for therapeutic outcome. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) provide opportunity for tracking drug accumulation in dynamics using non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The purpose of the study was to evaluate MNP loaded with PS as a theranostic tool for treating cancer in mice xenograft colon cancer models.


Nasal drug delivery can be assessed by a variety of means and regulatory agencies, e.g., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have published a set of guidelines and regulations proposing in vitro test methods for the characterization of nasal drug products. This article gives a summary of the FDA and EMA requirements regarding the determination of droplet size distribution (DSD), plume geometry, spray pattern and shot weights of solution nasal sprays and discusses the analytical challenges that can occur when performing these measurements. In order to support findings from the literature, studies were performed using a standard nasal spray pump and aqueous model formulations. The aim was to identify possible method-, device- and formulation-dependent influencing factors. The literature review, as well as the results from the studies show that DSD, plume geometry and spray pattern are influenced by, e.g., the viscosity of the solution, the design of the device and the actuation parameters, particularly the stroke length, actuation velocity and actuation force. The dominant factor influencing shot weights, however, is the adjustment of the actuation parameters, especially stroke length and actuation velocity. Consequently, for routine measurements assuring, e.g., the quality of a solution nasal spray or, for in vitro bioequivalence studies, the critical parameters, have to be identified and considered in method development in order to obtain reproducible and reliable results.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Chemistry, Liquid, Test method, Pharmaceutical drug, Food and Drug Administration, Subroutine, Nasal spray


Combination therapies, where two drugs acting through different mechanisms are administered simultaneously, are one of the most efficient approaches currently used to treat malaria infections. However, the different pharmacokinetic profiles often exhibited by the combined drugs tend to decrease treatment efficacy as the compounds are usually eliminated from the circulation at different rates. To circumvent this obstacle, we have engineered an immunoliposomal nanovector encapsulating hydrophilic and lipophilic compounds in its lumen and lipid bilayer, respectively. The antimalarial domiphen bromide has been encapsulated in the liposome membrane with good efficiency, although its high IC50 of ca. 1 µM for living parasites complicates its use as immunoliposomal therapy due to erythrocyte agglutination. The conjugation of antibodies against glycophorin A targeted the nanocarriers to Plasmodium-infected red blood cells and to gametocytes, the sole malaria parasite stage responsible for the transmission from the human to the mosquito vector. The antimalarials pyronaridine and atovaquone, which block the development of gametocytes, have been co-encapsulated in glycophorin A-targeted immunoliposomes. The co-immunoliposomized drugs have activities significantly higher than their free forms when tested in in vitro Plasmodium falciparum cultures: Pyronaridine and atovaquone concentrations that, when encapsulated in immunoliposomes, resulted in a 50% inhibition of parasite growth had no effect on the viability of the pathogen when used as free drugs.


The long-term use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs can induce subclinical and clinically relevant micronutrient deficiencies, which may develop gradually over months or even years. Given the large number of medications currently available, the number of research studies examining potential drug-nutrient interactions is quite limited. A comprehensive, updated review of the potential drug-nutrient interactions with chronic use of the most often prescribed medications for commonly diagnosed conditions among the general U.S. adult population is presented. For the majority of the interactions described in this paper, more high-quality intervention trials are needed to better understand their clinical importance and potential consequences. A number of these studies have identified potential risk factors that may make certain populations more susceptible, but guidelines on how to best manage and/or prevent drug-induced nutrient inadequacies are lacking. Although widespread supplementation is not currently recommended, it is important to ensure at-risk patients reach their recommended intakes for vitamins and minerals. In conjunction with an overall healthy diet, appropriate dietary supplementation may be a practical and efficacious way to maintain or improve micronutrient status in patients at risk of deficiencies, such as those taking medications known to compromise nutritional status. The summary evidence presented in this review will help inform future research efforts and, ultimately, guide recommendations for patient care.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Prescription drug, Health, Nutrition, Nutrient, Drugs, Over-the-counter drug, Medical prescription


Although intravitreal administration of anti-infectives represents the standard treatment for infectious endophthalmitis, the knowledge about their pharmacokinetics is still limited. In this review, we aimed to summarise the factors influencing the pharmacokinetics of the anti-infective agents. We have conducted a comprehensive review of the preclinical pharmacokinetic parameters obtained in different studies of intravitreal injections of anti-infectives performed on animals, mainly rabbits. The two aspects with the biggest influence on pharmacokinetics are the distribution in the vitreous humour and the elimination through the posterior segment. The distribution can be affected by the molecular weight of the drug, the convection flow of the vitreous, the condition of the vitreous humour depending on the age of the patient, the possible interactions between the drug and the components of the vitreous, and the presence of vitrectomy. Meanwhile, the elimination includes the metabolism of the drug, the clearance via the anterior and posterior routes, and the possible inflammation of the eye resulting from the disease. Understanding the pharmacokinetics of the anti-infectives used in clinical practice is essential for a correct application. The information provided in this review could offer guidance for selecting the best therapeutic option according to the characteristics of the drugs.


The nootropic drug aniracetam is greatly limited in its application by low aqueous solubility and a poor oral bioavailability. The primary aim of this study was to design a parenteral formulation of aniracetam that can be administered intravenously. Complexation of aniracetam with 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) was investigated as a strategy to enhance solubility. A phase solubility analysis was performed to quantify the extent of improvement. An 819% increase in the solubility of aniracetam was obtained, reaching 36.44 mg/mL. This marked increase enables aniracetam to exist in an aqueous solvent at levels sufficient for parenteral dosing. A stability test was then devised using a design of experiment approach. The aniracetam-HP-β-CD formulation was subjected to different relative humidity and temperature and cyclodextrin concentrations over a 12-week period. Key changes in FTIR vibrational frequencies suggest the benzene moiety of aniracetam was introduced into the hydrophobic cavity of HP-β-CD. These results are highly supportive of the formation of a predictable 1:1 molar stoichiometric inclusion complex, explaining the improvement seen in physiochemical properties of aniracetam following formulation with HP-β-CD. This novel formulation of aniracetam suitable for parenteral administration will have utility in future studies to further elucidate the pharmacokinetics of this drug.


Chronotherapy involves the administration of medication in coordination with the body’s circadian rhythms to maximise therapeutic effectiveness and minimise/avoid adverse effects. The aim of this study is to investigate the “time of administration” recommendations on chronotherapy for commonly-prescribed medicines in Australia. This study also aimed to explore the quality of information on the timing of administration presented in drug information sources, such as consumer medicine information (CMI) and approved product information (PI). Databases were searched for original research studies reporting on the impact of “time of administration” of the 30 most commonly-prescribed medicines in Australia for 2014. Further, time of administration recommendations from drug information sources were compared to the evidence from chronotherapy trials. Our search revealed 27 research studies, matching the inclusion and exclusion criteria. In 56% (n = 15) of the research studies, the therapeutic effect of the medicine varied with the time of administration, i.e., supported chronotherapy. For some medicines (e.g., simvastatin), circadian-based optimal administration time was evident in the information sources. Overall, dedicated studies on the timing of administration of medicines are sparse, and more studies are required. As it stands, information provision to consumers and health professionals about the optimal “time” to take medications lags behind emerging evidence.

Concepts: Therapeutic effect, Pharmacology, Medicine, Effect, Effectiveness, Drug, Pharmaceutical drug