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Open AccessReview

Polymorph Impact on the Bioavailability and Stability of Poorly Soluble Drugs

School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, via S. Agostino, 1, Camerino 62032, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Thomas Rades, Holger Grohganz and Korbinian Löbmann
Molecules 2015, 20(10), 18759-18776;
Received: 11 September 2015 / Revised: 6 October 2015 / Accepted: 8 October 2015 / Published: 15 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Poorly Soluble Drugs)
Drugs with low water solubility are predisposed to poor and variable oral bioavailability and, therefore, to variability in clinical response, that might be overcome through an appropriate formulation of the drug. Polymorphs (anhydrous and solvate/hydrate forms) may resolve these bioavailability problems, but they can be a challenge to ensure physicochemical stability for the entire shelf life of the drug product. Since clinical failures of polymorph drugs have not been uncommon, and some of them have been entirely unexpected, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) has required preliminary and exhaustive screening studies to identify and characterize all the polymorph crystal forms for each drug. In the past, the polymorphism of many drugs was detected fortuitously or through manual time consuming methods; today, drug crystal engineering, in particular, combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening, makes it possible to easily and exhaustively identify stable polymorphic and/or hydrate/dehydrate forms of poorly soluble drugs, in order to overcome bioavailability related problems or clinical failures. This review describes the concepts involved, provides examples of drugs characterized by poor solubility for which polymorphism has proven important, outlines the state-of-the-art technologies and discusses the pertinent regulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymorphism; poorly soluble drug; polymorphism screening; regulatory issues polymorphism; poorly soluble drug; polymorphism screening; regulatory issues
MDPI and ACS Style

Censi, R.; Di Martino, P. Polymorph Impact on the Bioavailability and Stability of Poorly Soluble Drugs. Molecules 2015, 20, 18759-18776.

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