Current pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and processes are highly regulated and based on decades of experience. The techniques start in a lab, are continued in a pilot campaign, and finally graduate to full-scale manufacturing. To improve drug quality and manufacturing, in 2001, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiated Quality by Design (QbD) and Process Analytical Technology (PAT) Guidance for the pharmaceutical industry. This project will provide the ability to comply with that guidance and continuously monitor pharmaceutical quality during manufacturing. Crystallization of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) involves achieving a specific crystalline phase, for which there can also be multiple polymorphic forms, a critical factor for drug effectiveness. Powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) is the 'gold standard'analytical tool to determine API crystalline phase composition and polymorphic form. Unfortunately, PXRD is not currently used online real-time because of the configuration requirements for conventional PXRD. It is currently applied offline in the laboratory because of constraining sample presentation requirements and the system size, complexity, and operator-skill requirements of conventional PXRD systems. Recent developments at X-Ray Optical Systems (XOS) of collimating optics and detector systems provide an opportunity to overcome these problems and enable a wide range of online PXRD applications. The objective of the proposed project is development of a reliable, easy-to-use, compact, and safe PXRD system for continuous monitoring of crystalline characteristics of API real-time during drug development and manufacture. This will improve process control and, therefore, assurance of product quality by directly measuring the pharmaceutical critical quality attributes rather than reliance on monitoring process conditions supported by relatively infrequent sampling. The project focuses on online measurements during the API crystallization phase. This will be done with pharmaceutical industry collaborators at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). Feasibility for such measurements has been demonstrated on the benchtop during Phase I studies. It will be demonstrated online at a BMS pharmaceutical research and manufacturing facility in Phase II. Phase II will include all of the necessary instrument development steps required to design, assemble, and test the prototype. This includes sample presentation, the fixed detector approach, and integrating the analyzer with an existing reactor at BMS. XOS has extensive experience with online optic-enabled XRD and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) applications. The proposed project is a match with the NIH Research Objectives for the Manufacturing Processes of Medical, Dental, and Biological Technologies topic as a systems-level technology. Improved drug quality, improved public health, reduced manufacturing costs, and reduced health-care costs are the ultimate goals.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed analyzer will increase control over the quality of pharmaceuticals by providing the ability to measure the actual drug crystalline/molecular form during the process for the first time, compared to current practice of just monitoring the manufacturing parameters. The analyzer will be compact, inexpensive, and able to be set up and operated by operators and technicians. The ability to measure crystallinity in the drug directly online during development, pilot scale up, and full-scale manufacturing will impact public health by improving the consistency of pharmaceutical quality, reducing time to market by faster manufacturing ramp up, reducing manufacturing costs by increased process control, and improving manufacturing compliance through application of the FDA's Process Analytical Technology (PAT) drug certification guidelines.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IMST-A (12))
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Cole, Alison E
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X-Ray Optical Systems, Inc.
East Greenbush
United States
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