Development of an abiraterone acetate formulation with improved oral bioavailability guided by absorption modeling based on in vitro dissolution and permeability measurements

Int J Pharm. 2017 Oct 30;532(1):427-434. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.09.031. Epub 2017 Sep 15.


Particle size reduction of drug crystals in the presence of surfactants (often called "top-down" production methods) is a standard approach used in the pharmaceutical industry to improve bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs. Based on the mathematical model used to predict the fraction dose absorbed this formulation approach is successful when dissolution rate is the main rate limiting factor of oral absorption. In case compound solubility is also a major factor this approach might not result in an adequate improvement in bioavailability. Abiraterone acetate is poorly water soluble which is believed to be responsible for its very low bioavailability in the fasted state and its significant positive food effect. In this work, we have successfully used in vitro dissolution, solubility and permeability measurements in biorelevant media to describe the dissolution characteristics of different abiraterone acetate formulations. Mathematical modeling of fraction dose absorbed indicated that reducing the particle size of the drug cannot be expected to result in significant improvement in bioavailability in the fasted state. In the fed state, the same formulation approach can result in a nearly complete absorption of the dose; thereby, further increasing the food effect. Using a "bottom-up" formulation method we improved both the dissolution rate and the apparent solubility of the compound. In beagle dog studies, this resulted in a ≫>10-fold increase in bioavailability in the fasted state when compared to the marketed drug and the elimination of the food effect. Calculated values of fraction dose absorbed were in agreement with the observed relative bioavailability values in beagle dogs.

Keywords: Abiraterone acetate; Absorption modeling; Continuous flow precipitation; Oral bioavailabilityfood effect; “Top-down” methods.

MeSH terms

  • Abiraterone Acetate / pharmacokinetics*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Dogs
  • Permeability
  • Solubility


  • Abiraterone Acetate