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DOI: 10.1208/s12248-008-9020-0Pages: 208-212

Use of the Biopharmaceutical Classification System in Early Drug Development

1. Pharmaceutical Development, Wyeth Research

Correspondence to:
M. Sherry Ku
Tel: +1-845-6023956
Fax: +1-865-6035189



The Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) is not only a useful tool for obtaining waivers for in-vivo bioequivalence studies but also for decision making in the discovery and early development of new drugs. Measurement of solubility and permeability in the discovery/development settings is described. These data can be utilized for the preliminary BCS classification of pipeline compounds. A decision tree is described in the prioritization of salt and polymorph screening studies prior to in vivo studies in animals. For BCS class 1 and 3 compounds, polymorphism is less likely to impact on bioavailability. The polymorph screening study may be postponed after animal studies. The BCS classification can also be used in the design of animal and human formulations. A BCS-based animal formulation development decision tree is presented. A compound is triaged based on a series of decision points into one of the five formulation strategies. Human formulation has different requirements than animal formulation. A comparison between animal and human formulation strategies is presented. In conclusion, for non-BCS 1 compounds, the right-first-time polymorph and formulation selection ensures consistent pharmacokinetic performance and avoids bridging BA/BE studies. It is in line with FDA’s initiative to reduce R&D cycle time through quality by design for pharmaceutical products.

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  • Accepted: Feb 27, 2008
  • Online: Apr 3, 2008

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