In-depth structural characterization of pentosan polysulfate sodium complex drug using orthogonal analytical tools

Carbohydr Polym. 2020 Apr 15;234:115913. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.115913. Epub 2020 Jan 27.


Rapid advances have been made in developing analytical technologies for characterization of highly heterogeneous active ingredients of complex drugs, such as pentosan polysulfate (PPS), active ingredient of the drug Elmiron®, approved by the Food and Drug Administration and marketed in the United States to treat interstitial cystitis. PPS sulfated polysaccharides comprise of a repeat unit of β(1-4)-D-xylopyranoses randomly substituted by 4-O-methyl-glucopyranosyluronic acid. To define the critical quality attributes (CQAs) of such a complex drug, it is critical to develop an approach that integrates data from orthogonal analytical methodologies. Here, we developed an approach integrating diverse analytical tools including gel permeation chromatography, LC/ESI-MS and NMR to measure CQAs of PPS. The proposed mathematical framework integrates the data from these diverse analytical methods as function of PPS chain length and building blocks. Our approach would facilitate in establishing a scientific foundation for comparative characterization of drug products with complex active ingredients.

Keywords: LC–MS; NMR; molecular weight distribution; pentosane polysulfate; structural elucidation; sulfated polysaccharide.

MeSH terms

  • Carbohydrate Conformation
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Cystitis, Interstitial / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Weight
  • Pentosan Sulfuric Polyester / analysis*
  • Pentosan Sulfuric Polyester / therapeutic use
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization


  • Pentosan Sulfuric Polyester