Development of a Soluplus budesonide freeze-dried powder for nasal drug delivery.

The aim of this work was to develop an amorphous solid dispersions/solutions (ASD) of a poorly soluble drug, budesonide (BUD) with a novel polymer Soluplus® (BASF, Germany) using a freeze-drying technique, in order to improve dissolution and absorption through the nasal route.
The small volume of fluid present in the nasal cavity limits the absorption of a poorly soluble drug. Budesonide is a corticosteroid, practically insoluble and normally administered as a suspension-based nasal spray.
The formulation was prepared through freeze-drying of polymer-drug solution. The formulation was assessed for its physicochemical (specific surface area, calorimetric analysis and X-ray powder diffraction), release properties and aerodynamic properties as well as transport in vitro using RPMI 2650 nasal cells, in order to elucidate the efficacy of the Soluplus-BUD formulation.
The freeze-dried Soluplus-BUD formulation (LYO) showed a porous structure with a specific surface area of 1.4334 ± 0.0178 m2/g. The calorimetric analysis confirmed an interaction between BUD and Soluplus and X-ray powder diffraction the amorphous status of the drug. The freeze-dried formulation (LYO) showed faster release compared to both water-based suspension and dry powder commercial products. Furthermore, a LYO formulation, bulked with calcium carbonate (LYO-Ca), showed suitable aerodynamic characteristics for nasal drug delivery. The permeation across RPMI 2650 nasal cell model was higher compared to a commercial water-based BUD suspension.
Soluplus has been shown to be a promising polymer for the formulation of BUD amorphous solid suspension/solution. This opens up opportunities to develop new formulations of poorly soluble drug for nasal delivery.