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Presented By: Harneet Kaur, Jaspreet Singh



 Introduction to BCS
 Classification
 Determination of Solubility, Permeability & Dissolution
 Comparison of Dissolution Profile
 Limitations of BCS
 Extensions To BCS
 IVIVC and its Levels
 Predictability
 IVIVC for parenterals
 Applications of IVIVC
 Softwares used for IVIVC


Introduction to BCS
 The Biopharmaceutical Classification System (BCS) is a

framework for classifying drug substances based on their
aqueous solubility and intestinal permeability.

 G. L. Amidon, Vinod P. Shah, Hans Lennernas, and John R. Crison
gave this concept in 1994.

 The classification system is based on Fick’s first law applied to a

Jw= Pw Cw

Jw = Drug flux (mass/area/time) through the intestinal wall
at any position and time.

Pw = Permeability of membrane
Cw = Drug conc. at membrane


Introduction to BCS
Whenever a dosage form is administerd orally, the events that
follow are:

Solid Disintegration Solid Dissolution Drug in
dosage dosage solution at
form particles absorption


across the
GIT Barrier



Introduction to BCS
Drug absorbance from a solid dosage form following oral
administration depends on:

Release of drug substance from drug

Dissolution of drug under physiological

Permeability across the GI tract


Boundaries Used in BCS
Highly soluble
A drug substance is considered highly soluble when the highest
dose strength is soluble in 250mL water over a pH range 1 to 7.5.

Highly permeable
A drug substance is considered highly permeable when the
extent of absorption in humans is determined to be 90%of an
administered dose, based on the mass balance or in comparison
to intravenous dose.

Rapidly dissolving
A drug product is considered to dissolve rapidly when 85% of
the labeled amount of drug substance dissolves within 30
minutes, using USP apparatus I or II in a volume of 900mL buffer




The BCS additionally proposes 3 dimensionless ratios
to classify drug absorption:

Absorption Number

Dissolution Number

Dose Number



Absorption Number (An)
 Defined as the ratio of the mean residence time of the drug in GIT

to the mean absorption time.
 An = MRT/MAT
 Ideally An>1
 It’s the corresponding dimensionless parameter for permeability.
 Lower permeability decreases the ratio.

Peff is the effective permeability,
tres is mean residence time and;
R is the radius of intestinal segment.



Dissolution Number (Dn)
 Defined as the ratio of mean residence time to mean dissolution


 Ideally, Dn >1
 Inadequate solubility, diffusivity, excessive particle size reduce

this ratio
 It’s the corresponding dimensionless parameter for dissolution




Dose Number (D0)
 Defined as the mass of the drug divided by an of uptake volume

(250 mL) and solubility of drug.
 Ideally D0 <1 for full dissolution in principle .
 It’s the corresponding dimensionless parameter for solubility.

M0 is dose,
Cs is saturation solubility and;
V0 is initial gastric volume (≈250ml).


Goals of BCS
 To identify the challenges of formulation Design.
 To guide decisions w.r.t IVIVC.
 To improve the efficiency of drug development and identifying

expendable clinical bioequivalence tests.
 To explain when a waiver for in vivo bioavailability and

bioequivalence may be requested.
 To assist in QC in SUPAC.
 To recommend a class of immediate-release (IR) solid oral

dosage forms for which bioequivalence may be assessed based on
in vitro dissolution tests.


Class I drugs
 The drugs of this class exhibit high absorption number and high

dissolution number.

 For those class 1 drugs formulated as IR products, dissolution rate
generally exceeds gastric emptying.

 Behave like an oral solution in-vivo.

 The rate-limiting step is gastric emptying.

 These compounds are well absorbed.

 Absorption rate is usually higher than the excretion rate.


Class II drugs
 The drugs of this class have a high absorption number but a low

dissolution number.
 In vivo drug dissolution is then a rate-limiting step for absorption

except at a very high dose number.
 The absorption for Class II drugs is usually slower than for Class I

and occurs over a longer period of time.
 The bioavailability of these products is limited by their solvation

 Hence, a correlation between the in vivo bioavailability and the in

vitro solvation can be found.


Class III drugs
 Drug permeability is the rate-limiting step for drug absorption,

but the drug is solvated very quickly.

 These drugs exhibit a high variation in the rate and extent of drug

 Since the dissolution is rapid, the variation is attributable to
alteration of physiology and membrane permeability rather than
the dosage form factors.


Class IV drugs
 The drugs of this class are problematic for effective oral


 These compounds have poor bioavailability.

 They are usually not well absorbed through the intestinal mucosa,
and a high variability is expected.

 Fortunately, extreme examples of Class IV compounds are the
exception rather than the rule, and these are rarely developed
and marketed. Nevertheless, several Class IV drugs do exist.






Sub Classes of BCS Class II

 Basis- significant impact of pka on the solubility and dissolution
of drugs.

 BCS Class II drug product dissolution in vitro as well as in vivo is
highly dependent on acidic or basic nature of drug.

 Hence, the class II drugs are subclassified as:

Class IIa drugs Class IIb Drugs Class IIc Drugs

• Weakly • Weakly Basic • Neutral
Acidic Drugs Drugs Drugs

• pka ≤ 5 • pka ≥ 6


Sub Classes of BCS Class II

Various pH conditions in the gastro-intestinal tract:


Sub Classes of BCS Class II

 Class IIa Drugs
 Drugs are insoluble at gastric pH & soluble at intestinal pH
 At intestinal pH (~6.5), the dissolution would increase upto

100 times
 Hence, dissolution rate would be faster than gastric

emptying rate
 Thus, these drugs reflect gastric emptying and luminal pH

 Examples- ibuprofen and ketoprofen


Sub Classes of BCS Class II

 Class IIb Drugs
 Exhibit high solubility and dissolution rates at acidic pH in

 May precipitate in intestinal pH
 Examples- carvedilol and ketoconazole

 Class IIc Drugs
 Solubility is not affected by in vivo pH change
 Example- fenofibrate and danazole


Sub Classes of BCS Class II


Sub Classes of BCS Class II


Sub Classes of BCS Class II

 Ibuprofen and ketoprofen are absorbed more in the distal

small intestine than in the proximal small intestine due to
the environmental pH in the GI tract and their pH-
dependent solubility/dissolution.

 Major absorption of ketoconazole and carvedilol is at lower
pH environment in duodenum and proximal jejunum due to
higher solubility at this region of intestine.

 Fenofibrate and danazole show constant dissolution profile
throughout the dissolution profile, hence show slow and
prolonged absorption.


Determination of Solubility

 Solubility is the amount of a substance that has passed into
solution when equilibrium is attained between the solution and
excess (i.e., undissolved) substance at a given temperature and

 Determined by exposing an excess of solid (drug) to the liquid in
question (water/buffer) and assaying after equilibrium.

 Temperature: 37±1 °C
 pH: 1-7.5 (as per FDA Guidelines)

1.2- 6.8 (as per WHO Guidelines)
 Media: Standard buffer solutions as per USP
 Most used method: Shake Flask Method


Determination of Permeability

 Effective permeability (P) is generally described in terms of units
of molecular movement distance per unit time (e.g. 10 cm/ s).

 High permeability drugs- with an extent of absorption greater
than or equal to 90% and are not associated with any
documented instability in the gastrointestinal tract.

 The permeability is based directly on the extent of intestinal
absorption of a drug substance in humans or indirectly on the
measurements of the rate of mass transfer across the human
intestinal membrane.

 The methods range from simple oil/water (O/W) partition
coefficient to absolute bioavailability studies.


Determination of Permeability

Human Studies
 Mass balance pharmacokinetic studies
 Absolute bioavailability studies, intestinal perfusion


Intestinal Permeability Methods
 In vivo intestinal perfusions studies in humans
 In vivo or in situ intestinal perfusion studies in animals
 In vitro permeation experiments with excised human or

animal intestinal tissue

In Vitro Permeation Experiments
Across epithelial cell monolayers (e.g., Caco-2 cells or
TC-7 cells)


Determination of Dissolution

 A powerful and a useful method for determining:
 The product quality
 Clinical performance of dosage form
 Batch to batch consistency
 Bioequivalence/ bioinequivalence
 Provides an insight to in vivo behavior

 Dissolution performance is influenced by:
 Physicochemical properties of the substance
 Physiological conditions in the GIT tract

However these can vary between fasted- and fed-states as
well as within and among subjects.


Factors Affecting Dissolution


Dissolution Apparatus

Apparatus 1 rotating basket Rotating basket

Apparatus 2 paddle paddle

Apparatus 3 reciprocating cylinder flow-through cell

Apparatus 4 flow-through cell

Apparatus 5 paddle over disk

Apparatus 6 cylinder

Apparatus 7 reciprocating disk


Official Dissolution Apparatus

USP 30 classification

1. Rotating Basket (Ph.Eur./BP/JP)

2. Paddle (Ph.Eur./BP/JP)

3. Reciprocating Cylinder (Ph.Eur.)

4. Flow Through Cell (Ph.Eur./BP/JP)

5. Paddle Over Disk (Ph.Eur.)

6. Rotating Cylinder (Ph.Eur.)

7. Reciprocating Holder


Apparatus 1 – Basket

 Useful for
• capsules
• beads
• delayed release / enteric

coated dosage forms
• floating dosage forms
• surfactants in media

 Standard volume
• 900/1000 mL
• 1, 2, 4 L vessels


Apparatus 1 – Basket

Advantages Disadvantages

 breadth of experience (>  disintegration-dissolution
200 monographs) interaction

 hydrodynamic „dead zone“
under the basket

 full pH change during the  degassing is particularly
test important

 limited volume 
 can be easily automated sink conditions for poorly

which is important for soluble drugs
routine work


Apparatus 1 – Basket


Apparatus 2 – Paddle

 Useful for
• tablets
• capsules
• beads
• delayed release / enteric

coated dosage forms

 Standard volume
• 900/1000 ml

 Method of first choice !!!


Apparatus 2 – Paddle

Advantages Disadvantages

 easy to use  pH/media change is difficult

 robust
 limited volume  sink

 can be easily adapted conditions for poorly soluble

to apparatus 5 drugs

 long experience
 hydrodynamics are complex

 can be easily automated
 coning

which is important for
 sinkers for floating dosage

routine investigations


Apparatus 2 – Paddle

Sinkers Coning

A small loose piece of nonreactive material such as
not more than a few turns of wire helix may be
attached to dosage units that would otherwise


Apparatus 2 – Paddle


Apparatus 3 – Reciprocating

 Useful for
• tablets
• beads
• controlled release formulations

 Standard Volume
• 200-250 mL per station


Apparatus 3 – Reciprocating

 Advantages
• easy to change the pH
• hydrodynamics can be

directly influenced by
varying the dip rate

 Disadvantages
• small volume (max. 250 mL)
• little experience
• limited data


Apparatus 4 – Flow-Through

 Useful for
• low solubility drugs
• microparticulates
• implants
• suppositories
• controlled release formulations

 Variations
• open system
• closed system


Apparatus 4 – Flow-Through



Apparatus 4 – Flow-Through

 Advantages
• easy to change media pH
• pH-profile possible
• sink conditions
• different modes

a) open system
b) closed system

 Disadvantages
• Deaeration necessary
• high volumes of media
• labor intensive


Apparatus 5 – Paddle Over

 Useful for
• transdermal patches
 Standard Volume
• 900 mL

 Advantages
• standard equipment

(paddle) can be used, only add
a stainless steel disk assembly

 Disadvantages
• disk assembly restricts

patch size


Apparatus 6 – Rotating

 Useful for
• transdermal patches

 Similar to apparatus 1
 Instead of basket, a stainless steel

cylinder holds the sample


Apparatus 7 – Reciprocating

 Useful for
• Transdermal products
• Non-disintegrating controlled

release preparations

 Samples are placed on holders using
inert porous cellulosic support.

 It reciprocates vertically at
frequency of 30 cycles/sec.

 The test is carried out at 32°C.


Dissolution Media

Aqueous media is the most preferred.

0.1N HCl – to simulate gastric media

Simulated Intestinal Fluid (SIF)

Phosphate buffers of various pH

Fasted State Simulated Intestinal Fluid (FaSSIF)

Fed State Simulated Intestinal Fluid (FeSSIF)

TRIS Buffered Saline (TBS)


Selection of Dissolution

Class I • Simulated gastric fluid
(without enzymes)

• Simulated intestinal fluid

Class III (without enzymes)

Class II • SGF plus surfactant

& • Milk with 3.5%fat

Class IV


Comparison of Dissolution

A model-independent mathematical approach is used
to compare the dissolution profile of two products:

 To compare the dissolution profile between T (generic,
multisource) product & R (comparator) product in
biowaiver conditions

 To compare the dissolution profile between the two
strengths of products from a given manufacturer

 For SUPAC after the product is approved


Comparison of Dissolution

To compare the dissolution profile, two factors are

factor (f1) Similarity

factor (f2)


Difference Factor

The difference factor calculates the percent difference
between the two curves at each time point and is a
measurement of the relative error between the two curves.

Rt: reference assay at time point t
Tt: test assay at time point t
n: is the number of dissolution time points


Difference Factor

f1 Equation:
 approximates the error between two curves

% Error is zero when the test & reference profiles are

% Error increases as the dissimilarity between 2
profiles increases


Similarity Factor

The similarity factor is a logarithmic reciprocal square root
transformation of the sum squared error and is a
measurement of the similarity in the percent dissolution
between the two curves.

Rt: reference assay at time point t
Tt: test assay at time point t
n : is the number of dissolution time points


Similarity Factor

f2 Equation:
 takes the average sums of square of the difference

between the test & reference profiles

 the results fit between 0 & 100

 fit factor is 100 when the profiles are identical

 fit factor approaches zero as the dissimilarity increases


Limitations of BCS

 Effects of Food, Absorptive transporters, Efflux transporters
& Routes of elimination (renal/biliary) are important
determinants of BA for immediate release oral dosage
forms, which are not considered in BCS.

 BCS based biowaivers are not applicable for the following:
Narrow therapeutic range drug products.
Limited application for the class II drugs and not

applicable for class III.
Dosage form meant for absorption in the oral cavity e.g.

sublingual or buccal tablets.


Extensions to BCS

1. Six class BCS:
 The drugs are classified into six classes.
 The solubility was classified as “low” or “high” and the

permeability was allotted as “low” “intermediate” or “high”.

2. Quantitative BCS (QBCS):
 Quantitative BCS (QBCS) was developed using the

dose: solubility ratio as core parameter for classification.
 States that solubility is a static equilibrium parameter and

cannot describe the dynamic character of the dissolution
process for the entire dose administered.


Extensions to BCS

3. Pulmonary BCS
 The BCS is limited to the gastrointestinal tract.
 The pulmonary BCS (PBCS) consider the specific biology of the lung

as well as particle deposition, aerosol physics, and the subsequent
processes of drug absorption and solubility

 BDDCS (Biopharmaceutical Drug Disposition and Classification

System) divides compounds into four classes based on their
permeability and solubility.

 This classification system is useful in predicting effects of efflux and
uptake transporters on oral absorption as well as on post
absorption systemic levels following oral and intravenous dosing.



Difference Between BCS &

It takes into account solubility and It takes into account solubility and
permeability criteria to classify drugs. metabolism criteria.

It is more ambiguous. It is less ambiguous.

Less number of drugs are available More number of drugs are available
for biowaiver. for biowaiver.

It is not applicable in condition where It is applicable in condition where
food and transporter interaction food and transporter interaction
occur. occur.




Concept of IVIVC

 Systemic absorption of drugs is a prerequisite for eliciting
their therapeutic activity, whenever given non-

 As per federal guidelines, all the oral dosage forms have to
be evaluated for their in vivo bioavailability.

 Thus, generic manufacturers must provide detailed
bioequivalence evidence showing head-to-head comparative
performance of their product against reference.

 Conduct of such biostudies is a Herculean task involving
myriad technical, economical and ethical issues.

 Also, development and optimization of a formulation is an
time consuming and costly process.


Concept of IVIVC

 This may require alteration in formulation composition
manufacturing process, equipment and batch size.

 These type of changes call for the need of BA studies to prove
that new formulation is bioequivalent with the old one.

 Implementation of these requirements :
 halt the marketing of new formulation
 increase the cost of optimization process
 demand for strict regulatory guidelines to be followed

 Thus, it would be very convenient if inexpensive in vitro
experiments could be substituted for in vivo bioavailability


Concept of IVIVC

 For in vitro test to be useful in this context, it must predict in
vivo behavior to such an extent that in vivo bioavailability test
becomes redundant.

 In vitro dissolution is one such test that can predict the in vivo
performance of a drug.

 For in vitro dissolution to act as surrogate for bioavailability
studies an accurately validated correlation needs to be
established between in vitro and in vivo performance of drug.

 Thus, by establishing IVIVC , in vitro dissolution can act as
surrogate for bioequivalence studies.

 This would circumnavigate the hiccups caused by the
biostudies by seeking for requisite biowaivers.


Concept of IVIVC

 The concept of IVIVC has been extensively discussed for
modified release dosage forms.

 This is because the dissolution behavior of of the drug from ER
or MR product is the rate limiting factor for absorption in GIT.

 This is why IVIVC are expected more generally for ER
formulations than with IR products especially when the latter
releases the drug rapidly (>80 % in < 20 minutes)

 But, it does not mean that IVIVC cannot be applied for IR

 In recent times, IVIVC for parenterals, transdermals,
pulmonary formulations etc. are also coming.


What is Correlation?

 The word Correlation has two different definitions:
 Mathematical
 Biopharmaceutical

Mathematically- the word correlation means
interdependence between qualitative and quantitative
data, or relationship between measurable variable or rank.

From Biopharmaceutical point of view, it simply means
relationship between observed parameters derived from in
vitro and in vivo studies.


IVIVC – Definition

• A predictive mathematical model describing the relationship

FDA between an in vitro property of dosage form (usually the
rate or extent of drug dissolution or release) and a relevant
in vivo response, e.g., plasma drug concentration or amount
of drug .

• The establishment of a relationship between a biological

USP property or a parameter derived from a biological
property (Cmax, AUC) produced by a dosage form, and a
physicochemical characteristic (in vitro release) of the
same dosage form.


Dissolution as Surrogate for
BA Studies

 The purpose of in vitro dissolution studies in the early stages
of drug development is to:

 Select the optimum formulation
 Evaluate the active ingredient and excipients.
 Assess any minor changes in the drug products

 From IVIVC point of view in vitro dissolution is proposed to be
a surrogate of drug bioavailability studies.

 This is possible only if an accurately validated IVIVC is


Dissolution as Surrogate for
BA Studies

 If a valid correlation of in vitro dissolution is established with
in vivo performance of the formulation then it can be used
 Assess batch to batch consistency
 Distinguish acceptable and unacceptable i.e. bioequivalent and

bioinequivalent drug products
 Ensure product quality i.e. ability to manufacture the product

reproducibly and maintain its release properties throughout

 Provide insight to in vivo behavior of product
 Guide development of new formulations


Establishment of Dissolution

 Dissolution test results depend upon various dissolution test
conditions such as pH, volume, ionic strength, deaeration,
dissolution medium, surfactants, agitation and temperature.

 Dissolution results may vary with change in dissolution

 So, establishment of proper dissolution standards reflecting in
vivo performance of a drug is important.

 No single dissolution test conditions can be applied to all drugs.


Need of IVIVC

 Setting up of an in vitro release test that would serve as a
surrogate for in vivo plasma profiles ( bioequivalence testing).

 To minimize unnecessary human testing;

 To set up biopharmaceutically meaningful in vitro release

 Decreased regulatory burdens.

 Minimization of cost and time required in additional
bioavailability studies



• FDA-sponsored workshop entitled Report on CR Dosage Forms:
Issues and Controversies (1987) – did not permit consistently

1987 meaningful IVIVC for ER dosage forms

• A USP PF Stimuli article established different IVIVC Levels

• FDA-sponsored workshop entitled In vitro/In vivo Testing and
Correlation for Oral Controlled/Modified Release Dosage Forms

1990 (1990) concluded that the development of an IVIVC was an
important objective on a product-by-product basis.

• FDA-sponsored workshop entitled Scale-up of Oral Extended
Release Dosage Forms (1993) identified dissolution as a surrogate

1993 for bioequivalency testing.



• Amidon and Lennernäs et al. proposed BCS to utilise in vitro

1995 dissolution tests as a surrogate for in vivo bioequivalence studies .

• FDA published regulatory guidances for in vitro-in vivo correlations

1997 • EMEA followed suit in 2000.

• FDA introduced regulatory guidlines for BCS biowaivers .

2000 • EMEA guidelines came in 2002.

• IVIVC and IVIVR established tools




Based on the ability

of the correlation to

reflect the complete

plasma level profile,

which will result from

administration of the MULTIPLE LEVEL C
given dosage form.




 Highest category of correlation
 Linear correlation
 Superimposable in vitro and in vivo input curve
 Or can be made superimposable by use of a constant offset

 Represents point to point correlation between in vitro

dissolution time course and in vivo response time course
 Utilizes all the dissolution and plasma level data available to

develop correlation
 Most informative and useful from a regulatory perspective


Developing Level A

 Deconvolution: it is the process where output (plasma
concentration profile) is converted into input (in vivo
dissolution of dosage form)

 The plasma or urinary excretion data obtained in the
definitive bioavailability study of MR dosage form are
treated by deconvolution.

 The resulting data represent the in vivo input rate of the
dosage form.

 It can also be called in vivo dissolution when the rate
controlling step is dissolution rate.

 Any deconvolution procedure will produce the acceptable


Developing Level A

Deconvolution methods

Model Dependent

• WN Method
• Loo- Riegelman Method

Model Independent

• Numeric Deconvolution


Developing Level A


Used for a one compartment • Used for multi compartment
model system
Less complicated • More complicated
The cumulative fraction of drug

• Fraction absorbed at any time t is
absorbed at time t is calculated as:

given by:

CT is plasma conc. at time T Xp)T is amount of drug in peripheral
KE is elimination rate constant compartment as a function of time

Vc is apparent volume of distribution
K10 is apparent first order elimination

rate constant


Developing Level A

Numeric Deconvolution Approach
 Alternative approach requiring in vivo plasma data from an

oral solution or iv dose
 Based on convolution integral equation
 The absorption rate rabs that results isn plasma concentration

c(t) may be estimated by solving following eq.

Cδ is the concentration time profile resulting from instantaneous absorption of a
unit amount of drug which is typically absorbed from bolus IV injection or
reference oral solution data
c(t) is plasma conc. versus time profiles of tested formulation
rabs is the input rate of the oral solid dosage form in to the body
u is the variable of integration


Developing Level A

 Y(t) = G(t) X(t)
 Where Y(t) is the function describing plasma C-t profile following

extravascular administration,
 G(t) is the function describing the Concentration-time profile following

bolus iv dose
 X(t) is the function describing input i.e. dissolution from dosage form

 Deconvolution method requires no assumptions regarding
number of compartments.

 It requires data obtained after both oral and intravenous
administration in the same subject.

 It assumes no differences in PK of drug distribution and
elimination from one study to the other.

 Drug concentrations must be measured at same times
following both oral and iv administration.


Developing Level A

 Biobatch is then subjected to in vitro dissolution evaluation.
 In vitro dissolution curve is then compared to drug input

rate curve i.e. in vivo dissolution curve.
 To compare Graph b/w Fraction of drug absorbed (FRA) and

Fraction of Drug Dissolved (FRD)is plotted.
 Mathematically scale in vivo profile to match with in vitro

 Linear correlations – superimposable curves
 If not superimposable then can be made by use of scaling

 Nonlinear correlations, though uncommon, are also possible.


Developing Level A


Developing Level A

Convolution Approach
 Input is converted into output.
 Single step approach
 Here in vitro dissolution profile is converted into plasma

concentration time profile.
 It can be done by model independent or model dependent

approaches, physiology based softwares and simulation can
be applied.

 Then predicted plasma profile is compared with the real
plasma profile.


Developing Level A


Developing Level A

Scaling of Data
 Since, significant difference exists between in vitro and in vivo

dissolution conditions, it is not uncommon to see time scale
difference while comparison.

 The introduction of time scale factor is acceptable as long as
the same factor is being used for all formulations

 In addition to time scale factor, other approaches like lag
time and cut-off factor can be used.

 Lag time is used to account for gastric emptying .
 Cut off factor is used to account for lack of colon absorption.


Developing Level A

1.Types of Formulations used

Condition dependent Condition independent
dissolution dissolution

• Formulations with • Single release
different release rates formulation

2.Number of formulations
 Minimum 2 formulations with different release rates
 But 3 or more formulations with different release rates (slow medium or

fast) recommended
 EXCEPTION– conditions independent dissolution where only one



Developing Level A

3. Design
 Single study cross over design
4. Dissolution conditions
 Should adequately discriminate among different formulations
 Once a discriminating condition is established, the conditions

should be same for all the formulations.
 During the early stages, dissolution conditions can be altered to

develop point-to-point correlation.
5. Time scaling
 Should be same for all the formulations



They reflect the whole curve because all dissolution and
plasma level data points are used.

They are excellent quality control procedures.

More informative

Very useful from regulatory point of view.


Evaluating Predictability

 An IVIVC should be evaluated to demonstrate that predictability of
the in vivo performance of a drug product, from the in vitro
dissolution characteristics of the drug product formulations, is
maintained over a range of in vitro release rates

 Evaluation approaches focus on estimation of predictive
performance or prediction error.

observed  predicted
%PE  ( )*100



Internal predictability External predictability

• Evaluates how well model • Relates how well the model
describes the data used to predicts when one or more
define IVIVC additional data sets are used

• based on the initial data sets • based on additional data
used to define the IVIVC sets obtained from a

different (new) formulation
• Used for wide therapeutic

range drugs • Used for narrow therapeutic
range drugs

• Used if formulations with 3
or more release rates were • Used if formulations with
used only 2 release rates were



Internal predictability External predictability

• Acceptance Criteria • Acceptance Criteria

• Average %PE of 10% or • Average % PE of 10% or
less for Cmax and AUC less for Cmax and AUC

• %PE for each formulation • %PE between 10-20%
should not exceed 15% demands for additional

data sets.
• If these criteria are not

met external predictability • %PE greater than 20%
should be performed. indicates inadequate




 Uses the principles of statistical moment analysis
 The mean in vitro dissolution time is compared either to the

mean residence time (MRT) or to the mean in vivo
dissolution time.

 Is not a point-to-point correlation
 Reason – because a number of different in vivo curves will

produce similar mean residence time values.
 Level B correlations are rarely seen in NDAs





 One dissolution time point (t50% t90% etc.) is compaired to one
mean pharmacokinetic parameter such as AUC, Tmax , Cmax

 A single point estimation and does not reflect the entire shape of
plasma drug concentration curve.

 Weakest level of correlation
 Can be useful in early stages of formulation development when

pilot formulations are being selected
 Biowaiver not possible



• C


40 B

30 A




20 40 60 80 100 95

% drug dissolved in 45 minutes

AUC (μg.h/ml)



 Relates one or several pharmacokinetic parameters of interest
(Cmax, AUC etc.) to the amount of drug dissolved at several
time points of the dissolution profile

May be used to justify biowaiver, provided that the correlation has been
established over the entire dissolution profile with one or more

pharmacokinetic parameters of interest

If such correlation is achievable; then development of level A is likely and

 It should be based on atleast 3 dissolution time points
covering early, middle and late stages of dissolution profile.



 Level D correlation is a rank order and qualitative analysis and is
not considered useful for regulatory purposes.

 It is not a formal correlation but serves as an aid in the
development of a formulation or processing procedure.


General Considerations

 Number of subjects = 6-36
 Cross over studies preferred, but parallel or cross studies also

 The reference product may be iv solution, an aqueous oral

solution or an immediate release product.
 IVIVCs are developed in fasted state unless the drug is not

tolerated in fasted state.
 The preferred dissolution apparatus is USP basket type or

paddle type at compendial rotation speeds.
 The same dissolution method should be used for different



General Considerations

 An aqueous medium, either water or a buffered solution
preferably not exceeding pH 6.8 is recommended.

 Sufficient data should be submitted to justify pH greater than

 Non aqueous and hydroalcohlic systems are discouraged
unless all attempts with aqueous media are unsuccessful.

 For poorly soluble drugs addition of surfactants may be

 The dissolution profile of at least 12 individual dosage units
from each lot should be determined.


FDA Ranks

Level A
Multiple (Most
level C informative

Level C and
(As useful as recommended)

(Used in level A)

Level B stages)


IVIVC expectations for immediate release products based on BCS

Class Solubility Permeability Absorption rate IVIVC expectations for Immediate
control release product

I High High Gastric IVIVC expected, if dissolution rate
emptying is slower than gastric emptying

rate, otherwise limited or no

II Low High Dissolution IVIVC expected, if in vitro
dissolution rate is similar to in vivo
dissolution rate, unless dose is
very high.

III High Low Permeability Absorption (permeability) is rate
determining and limited or no
IVIVC with dissolution.

IV Low Low Case by case Limited or no IVIVC is expected.


IVIVC for Parenterals

 IVIVC has been successfully applied to solid oral dosage forms
 IVIVC can be applied to parenteral Modified Release (MR)

dosage forms as well.
 To obtain such a correlation following steps are followed:

 Obtain in vivo data
 Identify in vivo drug release mechanism
 Identify factors affecting in vivo release
 Design in vitro release method based on in vivo release mechanism
 Correlate the in vitro and in vivo data

 For MR release dosage forms, it is often necessary to use an
in vitro method of release testing that exceeds the in vivo
rate of drug release.


Development of in vitro Release

 Since these dosage forms are typically designed to release
their contents over periods of weeks, months or even years, it
becomes impractical to wait for a real-time test for batch
release of product.

 Therefore, accelerated methods are often developed to assist
in batch release of the product.

 Accelerated tests, by their nature, (e.g. elevated temperature
or use of solvents)can change not only the rate of drug
release but also the mechanism of release.

 Therefore, it is very important to understand the accelerated
release mechanism.


Development of in vitro Release

 When dealing with MR systems, it is the mechanism of
release that should dictate the science of the in vitro test

 Following test methods have been successfully employed:
 Modified rotating paddle for suspensions
 Franz diffusion cell for gels
 Flow through cell for implants
 Floatable dialysis bag for nanoparticles or microspheres
 USP apparatus for with glass beads for microspheres

 Release medium, flow rate, agitation characteristics etc. are


Developing an IVIVC for Parenteral

 Real-time data for drug release is essential to correlate to in
vivo bioavailability, accelerated testing can also be used.

 For tests intended to support an IVIVC, the release profile from
an accelerated test should correlate with the in vivo release

 Where it is not possible to achieve such a correlation with an
accelerated release test, such a test may still be useful for
batch release of the product.

 However, the development of an additional real-time test will
still be needed if the intent is to develop an in vitro test that is
predictive of in vivo product performance.


Developing an IVIVC for Parenteral

 Accelerated testing will often result in a change in the
mechanism of release.

 Nevertheless, accelerated conditions can still serve as a
discriminatory tool so long as all formulations experience
similar changes and continue to exhibit performance
characteristics that can be differentiated from each other.

 In some cases, a correlation between in vivo data and
accelerated in vitro data may be obtained, regardless of a
change in the mechanism of release.

 However, there are numerous other situations where the use
of accelerated test conditions maybe problematic.


Developing an IVIVC for Parenteral

 For example, some MR dosage forms are associated with
multiphasic release characteristics, such as an initial burst
release followed by a secondary release phase.

 It is often impossible to separate these different phases in an
accelerated test.

 For that reason, “real-time” test is often needed to
characterize the initial burst phase.

 The initial burst release phase is usually diffusion controlled,
whereas the later phases tend to be controlled by erosion and


Developing an IVIVC for Parenteral


Developing an IVIVC for Parenteral

 In this scheme, there are three output functions which are
used to establish IVIVC,
 X1 in vitro release profile correlated to either Y1 (defined as disappearance

profile from the administration site,
 X1 related to or plasma concentration time profile as Y2,
 X1 to the pharmacological effects of drugs at the target tissue Y3.

 If Y2 is used, convolution procedure or any other modeling
technique can be used to relate plasma concentration time
profile to in vivo absorption or release rate.

 If a linear relationship between the in vitro and release data
does not occur then, IVIVC can be achieved by mathematical
modeling (e.g.time variant nonlinear modeling) of the in vitro
and in vivo data


In vitro- in silico- in vivo

 This approach is used in drug discovery and early preclinical
phases where PK data is not available.

 IVIVC at this time is usually conducted through in silico
simulation of structural properties of a molecule or high
throughput experimental data generated.

 Although simulation is not a replacement for definitive
scientific experiments, it provides in sight what one would
expect in vivo based on physicochemical properties.

 There are two in silico approaches for prediction of in vivo
oral absorption:
 Statistical models
 Mechanism-based models


In vitro- in silico- in vivo

 One mechanism based model that has gained popularity in
recent times is GastroPlusTM .

 Inputs to software include:
 Oral dose
 Physiochemical properties (pH-solubility profile, permeability etc.)
 Physiological properties (species, GI transit, GI pH, food status etc.)
 Formulation properties (release profile, particle size etc.)
 PK parameters (optional)

 The output includes:
 Fraction of oral dose absorbed
 Plasma Concentration time profiles (if PK parameters are given)


In vitro- in silico- in vivo

 In one relatively simple application of GastroPlus TM, it was

asked whether or not the mean particle size requirement of
Compound I (aqueous solubility>100 mg/mL) may be relaxed
from 35 µm to approximately 100 µm without affecting its
oral bioavailability.

 A simulation suggested that the extent of absorption is not
sensitive to changes in particle size in the range of 35–250

 This helps in decision making with respect to dosage form


Failure of Level A IVIVC for IR

 For Level A analysis, Fa is plotted against Fd and requires linear
regression of Fa vs Fd.

 IVIVC for IR products is less successful as they do not show
dissolution limited absorption.

 A reason for this lack of success and acceptance may be the
general failure of the Level A method to immediate release

 Controlled release products, rather than immediate release
products, are the focuses in the IVIVC literature.

 But it does not indicate that dissolution from such products
fails as a surrogate for bioavailability.


Slippery Slope of Correlation

 Since dissolution is perhaps not rate-limiting in an IR product,
the Fa against Fd profile will be non-linear.

 In practice, a correlation is often taken to imply a linear
relationship which is problematic for IR products.

 Thus, avoidance of term “correlation” and use of more
general term that would allow for non-linear relationships
may aid in development of IVIVC-type analysis of IR products.



 One possible substitution for IVIVC is IVIVR, with “R” denoting

 IVIVR need not be limited to straight-line relationships, which
appear to be generally incorrect for IR products.

1   1
    Fa  1 1 Fd  1 Fd 

fa   1  1 

Fa =fraction of the total amount of drug absorbed at time t,
fa =fraction of the dose absorbed at t = #,
a =ratio of the apparent first-order permeation rate constant (kpaap) to the

first-order dissolution rate constant (kd), and
Fd =fraction of drug dose dissolved at time t.



 Level A method is a special (linear) case of eq If fa = 1.0 (i.e.
complete absorption) and a>>1 (i.e. strongly dissolution rate-
limited absorption), then Fa = Fd.

 This IVIVR analysis has been applied to several formulations of
metoprolol, piroxicam, and ranitidine .

 The use of the term IVIVR rather than IVIVC is preferred.



 The objective of dissolution testing is to achieve predictability
of testing based on (co)relationship.

 Differences/similarity in vitro should be reflected in vivo and
vice versa under the same testing conditions/ environment
whether products are from same lot, different formulation, or
different products.

 If one set of experimental conditions provides a matched
ranking between dissolution and in vivo profiles, then it is
considered as achieving IVIVC. The dissolution test would be
called as bio-relevant.

 If none of the prior dissolution methods provide such
matching, then a new set of experimental conditions may
also be developed to match the ranking.



 This approach is considered as In Vitro-In Vivo Matching

 It is clear to see that this approach seeks to match, thus
would NOT reflect a relationship or predictability aspect,
which is the requirement of an IVIVC.

 Thus, it is of limited use as compared to IVIVC.



 The objective of IVIVC is to link or relate the in vitro
(dissolution) and in vivo (C-t) profiles.

 A dissolution test is performed and then C-t profile from it is

 Therefore, it can be said that in reality the purpose of
commonly referred practices of IVIVC is to transfer a
dissolution (in vitro) to a C-t (in vivo) profile, or simply in
vitro-to-in vivo profiling.

 The mathematical technique to transfer in vitro profile to in
vivo profile is known as convolution.

 Convolution is relatively simpler than de-convolution as the
former can be applied using simple spreadsheet software,
e.g., MS Excel.


Applications of IVIVC

IVIVC plays an important role in product development:-
 serves as a surrogate of in vivo and assists in supporting


 supports and / or validates the use of dissolution methods and
specifications; and

 assists in quality control during manufacturing and selecting
appropriate formulations.


Applications of IVIVC

1. Biowaivers
 The first and main role of establishing IVIVC is to use dissolution

test as a surrogate for human studies.

 The benefit of this is to minimize the number of bioequivalence
studies performed during the initial approval process and during
the scaling-up and post-approval changes.


Applications of IVIVC

The FDA guidance outlines five categories of

biowaivers using an biowaivers using an
biowaivers without an IVIVC: non-narrow IVIVC: narrow

IVIVC therapeutic index therapeutic index
drugs drugs

biowaivers when in
situations for which an

vitro dissolution is
IVIVC is not

independent of
recommended for

dissolution test



Applications of IVIVC

Biowaivers Without IVIVC
Biowaivers for the changes made on lower strengths are
possible without an IVIVC if –
 all strengths are compositionally proportional or qualitatively

the same,
 in vitro dissolution profiles of all strengths are similar,
 all strengths have the same release mechanism,
 bioequivalence has been demonstrated on the highest

strength (comparing changed and unchanged drug product),

 dose proportionality has been demonstrated for this ER drug


Applications of IVIVC

For these situations, waivers can be granted without an
IVIVC if dissolution data are submitted in the
application/compendial medium and in three other media
(e.g., water, 0.1N HCl, and USP buffer at pH 6.8).


Applications of IVIVC

Biowaivers based on IVIVC
For generic products to qualify for biowaiver, based on
IVIVC , one of the following situations should exist:

 Bioequivalence has been established for all strengths of
the reference listed product.

 Dose proportionality has been established for the
reference listed product, and all reference product
strengths are compositionally proportional or
qualitatively the same, have the same release mechanism,
and the in vitro dissolution profiles of all strengths are


Applications of IVIVC

 Bioequivalence is established between the generic product
and the reference listed product at the highest and lowest
strengths and, for the reference listed product, all strengths
are compositionally proportional or qualitatively the same,
have the same release mechanism, and the in vitro
dissolution profiles are similar.


Applications of IVIVC

2. Establishment of dissolution specifications
 In vitro dissolution specifications should generally be based on

the bioavailability performance of the lots. This approach is
based on the use of the in vitro dissolution test as a quality
control test.

 An IVIVC adds in vivo relevance to in vitro dissolution
specifications, beyond batch-to-batch quality control.

 In this approach, the in vitro dissolution test becomes a
meaningful predictor of in vivo performance of the formulation,
and dissolution specifications may be used to minimize the
possibility of releasing lots that would be different in in vivo


Applications of IVIVC

 Major drawback in the widespread use of IVIVC is that this
approach is product dependent.

 The IVIVC cannot be used across the products, especially drug
product with different release mechanisms .
E.g. in the case of controlled release drug delivery systems .


Softwares Used in IVIVC


Kinetica v. 6.1



ivivc for PDx-

v. 3.0


Survey Results for IVIVC


Survey Results for IVIVC


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