Product Validation and Stability Testing of Pharmacy Compounded Cholic Acid Capsules for Dutch Patients with Rare Bile Acid Synthesis Defects

Pharmaceutics. 2023 Feb 26;15(3):773. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics15030773.


Bile acid synthesis defects (BASDs) comprise a group of rare diseases that can be severely disabling. Bile acid supplementation with 5 to 15 mg/kg cholic acid (CA) has been hypothesized to decrease endogenous bile acid production, stimulate bile secretion, and improve bile flow and micellar solubilization, thereby improving the biochemical profile and potentially slowing down disease progression. Currently, CA treatment is unavailable in the Netherlands, and CA capsules were compounded by the Amsterdam UMC Pharmacy from CA raw material. This study aims to determine the pharmaceutical quality and stability of the pharmacy compounded CA capsules. Pharmaceutical quality tests were performed on 25 mg and 250 mg CA capsules according to general monographs of the European Pharmacopoeia 10th ed. For the stability study, the capsules were stored under long-term conditions (25 °C ± 2 °C/60% ± 5% RH) and accelerated conditions (40 °C ± 2 °C/75% ± 5% RH). Samples were analyzed at 0, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. The findings demonstrate that the pharmacy compounded CA capsules within a range of 25-250 mg that complied with the European regulations in regard to product quality and safety. The pharmacy compounded CA capsules are suitable for use in patients with BASD, as clinically indicated. With its simple formulation, pharmacies are provided a guidance on product validation and stability testing when commercial CA capsules are unavailable.

Keywords: active pharmaceutical ingredient (API); bile acid synthesis defects (BASD); bile acids; cholic acid; good manufacturing practice (GMP); orphan drugs; pharmacy compounding; product validation; stability testing.

Grants and funding

This work is part of the platform “Medicine for Society”, for which funding is provided by the Vriendenloterij.