Paediatric drug development
: reformulation, in vitro, genomic and in vivo evaluation

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors lisinopril and ramipril were selected from EMA/480197/2010 and the potassium-sparing diuretic spironolactone was selected from the NHS specials list for November 2011 drug tariff with the view to produce oral liquid formulations providing dosage forms targeting paediatrics. Lisinopril, ramipril and spironolactone were chosen for their interaction with transporter proteins in the small intestine.
Formulation limitations such as poor solubility or pH sensitivity needed consideration. Lisinopril was formulated without extensive development as drug and excipients were water soluble. Ramipril and spironolactone are both insoluble in water and strategies combating this were employed. Ramipril was successfully solubilised using low concentrations of acetic acid in a co-solvent system and also via complexation with hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin. A ramipril suspension was produced to take formulation development in a third direction. Spironolactone dosages were too high for solubilisation techniques to be effective so suspensions were developed. A buffer controlled pH for the sensitive drug whilst a precisely balanced surfactant and suspending agent mix provided excellent physical stability. Characterisation, stability profiling and permeability assessment were performed following formulation development. The formulation process highlighted current shortcomings in techniques for taste assessment of pharmaceutical preparations resulting in early stage research into a novel in vitro cell based assay.
The formulations developed in the initial phase of the research were used as model formulations investigating microarray application in an in vitro-in vivo correlation for carrier mediated drug absorption. Caco-2 cells were assessed following transport studies for changes in genetic expression of the ATP-binding cassette and solute carrier transporter superfamilies. Findings of which were compared to in vitro and in vivo permeability findings. It was not possible to ascertain a correlation between in vivo drug absorption and the expression of individual genes or even gene families, however there was a correlation (R2 = 0.9934) between the total number of genes with significantly changed expression levels and the predicted human absorption.
Date of Award18 Dec 2014
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAfzal-Ur-Rahman Mohammed (Supervisor) & Yvonne Perrie (Supervisor)


  • oral drug delivery
  • drug formulation development
  • cel culture
  • drug absorption
  • microarray

Cite this