Journal of pharmaceutical sciences 2017 04 26() pii 10.1016/j.xphs.2017.04.026
A silicone elastomer vaginal ring providing sustained release over 28 days of the antiretroviral microbicide dapivirine has recently completed Phase III clinical testing and showed moderate protection against HIV acquisition. In support of the product licensure program, we report the impact of dapivirine packing polymorphism on the thermal and solubility characteristics of dapivirine and on the in vitro performance of the 25 mg dapivirine ring product. This is the first time that polymorphism has been reported for a drug-releasing vaginal ring product. Thermal, particle size, powder x-ray diffraction and thermodynamic solubility analyses of dapivirine polymorphic forms I and IV, both of which are persistent at room temperature and with form I being the thermodynamically stable form, were conducted for both micronized and non-micronized materials. No significant differences in solubility between DPV forms I and IV were observed in media commonly used for in vitro release testing. Matrix-type silicone elastomer vaginal rings were manufactured and the impact of dapivirine polymorphism on key in vitro parameters (compression and tensile behaviour; content assay; in vitro release; residual content assay) was investigated. The data demonstrate that dapivirine packing polymorphism has no significant impact on in vitro performance of the 25 mg dapivirine vaginal ring.