Poor aqueous solubility is currently a prevalent issue in the development of small molecule pharmaceuticals. Several methods are possible for improving the solubility, dissolution rate and bioavailability of Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) class II and class IV drugs. Two solid state approaches, which rely on reductions in order, and can theoretically be applied to all molecules without any specific chemical prerequisites (compared with e.g. ionizable or co-former groups, or sufficient lipophilicity), are the use of the amorphous form and nanocrystals. Research involving these two approaches is relatively extensive and commercial products are now available based on these technologies. Nevertheless, their formulation remains more challenging than with conventional dosage forms. This article describes these two technologies from both theoretical and practical perspectives by briefly discussing the physicochemical backgrounds behind these approaches, as well as the resulting practical implications, both positive and negative. Case studies demonstrating the benefits and challenges of these two techniques are presented.
Keywords: Amorphous Crystallinity Nanocrystals Poor solubility Solubility enhancement Supersaturation