Peptide isolation via spray drying: particle formation, process design and implementation for the production of spray dried glucagon

Frederik J. S. Doerr, Lee J. Burns, Becky Lee, Jeremy Hinds, Rebecca L. Davis-Harrison, Scott A. Frank, Alastair J. Florence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose Spray drying plays an important role in the pharmaceutical industry for product development of sensitive bio-pharmaceutical formulations. Process design, implementation and optimisation require in-depth knowledge of process-product interactions. Here, an integrated approach for the rapid, early-stage spray drying process development of trehalose and glucagon on lab-scale is presented. Methods Single droplet drying experiments were used to investigate the particle formation process. Process implementation was supported using in-line process analytical technology within a data acquisition framework recording temperature, humidity, pressure and feed rate. During process implementation, off-line product characterisation provided additional information on key product properties related to residual moisture, solid state structure, particle size/morphology and peptide fibrillation/degradation. Results A psychrometric process model allowed the identification of feasible operating conditions for spray drying trehalose, achieving high yields of up to 84.67%, and significantly reduced levels of residual moisture and particle agglomeration compared to product obtained during non-optimal drying. The process was further translated to produce powders of glucagon and glucagon-trehalose formulations with yields of >83.24%. Extensive peptide aggregation or degradation was not observed. Conclusions The presented data-driven process development concept can be applied to address future isolation problems on lab-scale and facilitate a systematic implementation of spray drying for the manufacturing of sensitive bio-pharmaceutical formulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number255
Number of pages19
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2020


  • spray drying
  • process development
  • peptide formulation
  • droplet drying
  • psychrometric process model


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