Co-release of paclitaxel and encequidar from amorphous solid dispersions increase oral paclitaxel bioavailability in rats

Emilie Fynbo Petersen, Bjarke Strøm Larsen, Rasmus Blaaholm Nielsen, Ils Pijpers, Dries Versweyveld, René Holm, Ingunn Tho, Jan Snoeys, Carsten Uhd Nielsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The oral bioavailability of paclitaxel is limited due to low solubility and high affinity for the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) efflux transporter. Here we hypothesized that maximizing the intestinal paclitaxel levels through apparent solubility enhancement and controlling thesimultaneous release of both paclitaxel and the P-gp inhibitor encequidar from amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) would increase the oral bioavailability of paclitaxel. ASDs of paclitaxel and encequidar in polyvinylpyrrolidone K30 (PVP-K30), hydroxypropylmethylcellulose 5 (HPMC-5), and hydroxypropylmethylcellulose 4 K (HPMC-4K) were hence prepared by freeze-drying. In vitro dissolution studies showed that both compounds were released fastest from PVP-K30, then from HPMC-5, and slowest from HPMC-4K ASDs. The dissolution of paclitaxel from all polymers resulted in stable concentration levels above the apparent solubility. The pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel after oral administration to male Sprague-Dawley rats was investigated with or without 1 mg/kg encequidar, as amorphous solids or polymer-based ASDs. The bioavailability of paclitaxel increased 3- to 4-fold when administered as polymer-based ASDs relative to solid amorphous paclitaxel. However, when amorphous paclitaxel was co-administered with encequidar, either as an amorphous powder or as a polymer-based ASD, the bioavailability increased 2- to 4-fold, respectively. Interestingly, a noticeable increase in paclitaxel bioavailability of 24-fold was observed when paclitaxel and encequidar were co-administered as HPMC-5-based ASDs. We, therefore, suggest that controlling the dissolution rate of paclitaxel and encequidar in order to obtain simultaneous and timed release from polymer-based ASDs is a strategy to increase oral paclitaxel bioavailability.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Pages (from-to)123965
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 10. Apr 2024


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