Azidoprofen as a soft anti-flammatory agent for the topical treatment of Psoriasis

  • Aarti Naik

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Azidoprofen {2-(4-azidophenyl)propionic acid; AZP}, an azido-substituted
arylalkanoic acid, was investigated as a model soft drug candidate for a
potential topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent (NSAIA).
Reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) methods were developed for the assay of AZP, a series of ester analogues and their· degradation products. 1H-NMR spectroscopy was also employed as an analytical
method in selected cases.
Reduction of the azido-group to the corresponding amine has been proposed as
a potential detoxification mechanism for compounds bearing this substituent. An in vitro assay to measure the susceptibility of azides towards reduction was
developed using dithiothreitol as a model reducing agent. The rate of reduction of AZP was found to be base-dependent, hence supporting the postulated mechanism of thiol-mediated reduction via nucleophilic attack by the thiolate anion.
Prodrugs may enhance topical bioavailability through the manipulation of physico-chemical properties of the parent drug. A series of ester derivatives of AZP were investigated for their susceptibility to chemical and enzymatic hydrolysis, which regenerates the parent acid. Use of alcoholic cosolvents with differing alkyl functions to that of the ester resulted in transesterification reactions, which were found to be enzyme-mediated.
The skin penetration of AZP was assessed using an in vitro hairless mouse skin model, and silastic membrane in some cases. The rate of permeation of AZP was found to be a similar magnitude to that of the well established NSAIA ibuprofen. Penetration rates were dependent on the vehicle pH and drug concentration when solutions were employed. In contrast, flux was independent of pH when suspension formulations were used. Pretreatment of the skin with various enhancer regimes, including oleic acid and azone in propylene glycol, promoted the penetration of AZP.
An intense IR absorption due to the azide group serves as a highly diagnostic
marker, enabling azido compounds to be detected in the outer layers of the·
stratum corneum following their application to skin, using attenuated total
reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). This novel
application enabled a non-invasive examination of the percutaneous penetration enhancement of a model azido compound in vivo in man, in the presence of the enhancer oleic acid.
Date of AwardDec 1990
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBill Irwin (Supervisor)


  • Azidoprofen
  • Percutaneous absorption
  • attenuated total reflectance
  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
  • Psoriasis

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