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      The use of natural and synthetic phospholipids as pharmaceutical excipients*


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          In pharmaceutical formulations, phospholipids obtained from plant or animal sources and synthetic phospholipids are used. Natural phospholipids are purified from, e.g., soybeans or egg yolk using non-toxic solvent extraction and chromatographic procedures with low consumption of energy and minimum possible waste. Because of the use of validated purification procedures and sourcing of raw materials with consistent quality, the resulting products differing in phosphatidylcholine content possess an excellent batch to batch reproducibility with respect to phospholipid and fatty acid composition. The natural phospholipids are described in pharmacopeias and relevant regulatory guidance documentation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA). Synthetic phospholipids with specific polar head group, fatty acid composition can be manufactured using various synthesis routes. Synthetic phospholipids with the natural stereochemical configuration are preferably synthesized from glycerophosphocholine (GPC), which is obtained from natural phospholipids, using acylation and enzyme catalyzed reactions. Synthetic phospholipids play compared to natural phospholipid (including hydrogenated phospholipids), as derived from the number of drug products containing synthetic phospholipids, a minor role. Only in a few pharmaceutical products synthetic phospholipids are used. Natural phospholipids are used in oral, dermal, and parenteral products including liposomes. Natural phospholipids instead of synthetic phospholipids should be selected as phospholipid excipients for formulation development, whenever possible, because natural phospholipids are derived from renewable sources and produced with more ecologically friendly processes and are available in larger scale at relatively low costs compared to synthetic phospholipids.

          Practical applications: For selection of phospholipid excipients for pharmaceutical formulations, natural phospholipids are preferred compared to synthetic phospholipids because they are available at large scale with reproducible quality at lower costs of goods. They are well accepted by regulatory authorities and are produced using less chemicals and solvents at higher yields. In order to avoid scale up problems during pharmaceutical development and production, natural phospholipid excipients instead of synthetic phospholipids should be selected whenever possible.

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          Most cited references 70

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          Exposure of platelet membrane phosphatidylserine regulates blood coagulation.

           Barry R Lentz (2003)
          This article addresses the role of platelet membrane phosphatidylserine (PS) in regulating the production of thrombin, the central regulatory molecule of blood coagulation. PS is normally located on the cytoplasmic face of the resting platelet membrane but appears on the plasma-oriented surface of discrete membrane vesicles that derive from activated platelets. Thrombin, the central molecule of coagulation, is produced from prothrombin by a complex ("prothrombinase") between factor Xa and its protein cofactor (factor V(a)) that forms on platelet-derived membranes. This complex enhances the rate of activation of prothrombin to thrombin by roughly 150,000 fold relative to factor X(a) in solution. It is widely accepted that the negatively charged surface of PS-containing platelet-derived membranes is at least partly responsible for this rate enhancement, although there is not universal agreement on mechanism by which this occurs. Our efforts have led to an alternative view, namely that PS molecules bind to discrete regulatory sites on both factors X(a) and V(a) and allosterically alter their proteolytic and cofactor activities. In this view, exposure of PS on the surface of activated platelet vesicles is a key regulatory event in blood coagulation, and PS serves as a second messenger in this regulatory process. This article reviews our knowledge of the prothrombinase reaction and summarizes recent evidence leading to this alternative viewpoint. This viewpoint suggests a key role for PS both in normal hemostasis and in thrombotic disease.
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            Transmembrane ammonium sulfate gradients in liposomes produce efficient and stable entrapment of amphipathic weak bases.

            Gradients of ammonium sulfate in liposomes [(NH4)2SO4]lip. > [(NH4)2SO4]med. were used to obtain 'active' loading of amphipathic weak bases into the aqueous compartment of liposomes. The loading is a result of the base exchange with the ammonium ions. This approach was applied to encapsulate anthracyclines and acridine orange inside the liposomes at very high efficiency (> 90%). Doxorubicin was accumulated in the aqueous phase of the liposomes where it reached a level as high as 100-fold the doxorubicin concentration in the remote loading medium. Most of the intraliposomal doxorubicin was present in an aggregated state. The active entrapment and loading stability were dependent on liposome lipid composition, lipid quality, medium composition and temperature, as well as on the pKa and hydrophobicity of the base. The ammonium sulfate gradient approach differs from most other chemical approaches used for remote loading of liposomes, since it neither requires preparation of the liposomes in acidic pH, nor to alkalinize the extraliposomal aqueous phase. The stability of the ammonium ion gradient is related to the low permeability of its counterion, the sulfate, which also stabilizes anthracycline accumulation for prolonged storage periods (> 6 months) due to the aggregation and gelation of anthracycline sulfate salt.
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              Development of an inhaled dry-powder formulation of tobramycin using PulmoSphere™ technology.

              Abstract At present, the only approved inhaled antipseudomonal antibiotics for chronic pulmonary infections in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) are nebulized solutions. However, prolonged administration and cleaning times, high administration frequency, and cumbersome delivery technologies with nebulizers add to the high treatment burden in this patient population. PulmoSphere™ technology is an emulsion-based spray-drying process that enables the production of light porous particle, dry-powder formulations, which exhibit improved flow and dispersion from passive dry powder inhalers. This review explores the fundamental characteristics of PulmoSphere technology, focusing on the development of a dry powder formulation of tobramycin for the treatment of chronic pulmonary Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) infection in CF patients. This dry powder formulation provides substantially improved intrapulmonary deposition efficiency, faster delivery, and more convenient administration over nebulized formulations. The availability of more efficient and convenient treatment options may improve treatment compliance, and thereby therapeutic outcomes in CF.

                Author and article information

                Eur J Lipid Sci Technol
                Eur J Lipid Sci Technol
                European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
                Blackwell Publishing Ltd (Oxford, UK )
                September 2014
                25 August 2014
                : 116
                : 9
                : 1088-1107
                Phospholipid Research Center Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 582 Heidelberg, Germany
                Author notes
                Dr. Peter van Hoogevest, Phospholipid Research Center Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 582, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany, E-mail: pvanhoogevest@ 123456phospholipid-institute.com , Fax: +49 6221 651 56 65

                This paper is part of a Special Issue on phospholipids in pharmaceutics covering the International Symposium on Phospholipids in Pharmaceutical Research held in Heidelberg, Germany, September 16–17, 2013. The Special Issue can be accessed online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejlt.v116.9/issuetoc

                © 2014 The Authors. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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