A novel simulated media system for in vitro evaluation of bioequivalent intestinal drug solubility

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Orally administered solid drug must dissolve in the gastrointestinal tract before absorption to provide a systemic response. Intestinal solubility is therefore crucial but difficult to measure since human intestinal fluid (HIF) is challenging to obtain, varies between fasted (Fa) and fed (Fe) states and exhibits inter and intra subject variability. A single simulated intestinal fluid (SIF) cannot reflect HIF variability, therefore current approaches are not optimal. In this study we have compared literature Fa/FeHIF drug solubilities to values measured in a novel in vitro simulated nine media system for either the fasted (Fa9SIF) or fed (Fe9SIF) state. The manuscript contains 129 literature sampled human intestinal fluid equilibrium solubility values and 387 simulated intestinal fluid equilibrium solubility values. Statistical comparison does not detect a difference (Fa/Fe9SIF vs Fa/FeHIF), a novel solubility correlation window enclosed 95% of an additional literature Fa/FeHIF data set and solubility behaviour is consistent with previous physicochemical studies. The Fa/Fe9SIF system therefore represents a novel in vitro methodology for bioequivalent intestinal solubility determination. Combined with intestinal permeability this provides an improved, population based, biopharmaceutical assessment that guides formulation development and indicates the presence of food based solubility effects. This transforms predictive ability during drug discovery and development and may represent a methodology applicable to other multicomponent fluids where no single component is responsible for performance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114302
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Early online date22 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024


  • human intestinal fluid
  • simulated intestinal fluid
  • fasted
  • fed
  • equilibrium solubility
  • in vitro in vivo correlation


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