Computational predictions of glass-forming ability and crystallization tendency of drug molecules

Amjad Alhalaweh, Ahmad Alzghoul, Waseem Kaialy, Denny Mahlin, Christel A S Bergström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Amorphization is an attractive formulation technique for drugs suffering from poor aqueous solubility as a result of their high lattice energy. Computational models that can predict the material properties associated with amorphization, such as glass-forming ability (GFA) and crystallization behavior in the dry state, would be a time-saving, cost-effective, and material-sparing approach compared to traditional experimental procedures. This article presents predictive models of these properties developed using support vector machine (SVM) algorithm. The GFA and crystallization tendency were investigated by melt-quenching 131 drug molecules in situ using differential scanning calorimetry. The SVM algorithm was used to develop computational models based on calculated molecular descriptors. The analyses confirmed the previously suggested cutoff molecular weight (MW) of 300 for glass-formers, and also clarified the extent to which MW can be used to predict the GFA of compounds with MW < 300. The topological equivalent of Grav3-3D, which is related to molecular size and shape, was a better descriptor than MW for GFA; it was able to accurately predict 86% of the data set regardless of MW. The potential for crystallization was predicted using molecular descriptors reflecting Hückel pi atomic charges and the number of hydrogen bond acceptors. The models developed could be used in the early drug development stage to indicate whether amorphization would be a suitable formulation strategy for improving the dissolution and/or apparent solubility of poorly soluble compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3123-3132
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • amorphous
  • crystallization tendency
  • glass forming ability
  • molecular descriptors
  • support vector machine

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