Excipient quality and performance are crucial factors in drug development and manufacturing. Excipient producers evaluate
their products in given formulations to assess their utility compared with other excipients and functionality with specific
active ingredients. International Specialty Products (ISP, Wayne, NJ), a producer of crospovidone, a commonly used superdisintegrant,
recently launched a new ultra-pure grade of crospovidone to provide a crospovidone product with lower levels of peroxides,
an important consideration in drug stability.
ISP manufactures standard pharmaceutical grades of crospovidone and launched an ultra-pure grade of crospovidone in November
2010. Crospovidone is a cross-linked homopolymer of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone. Peroxides result from the oxidation of crospovidone during production and storage, and their formation
can be reduced by processing and packaging crospovidone under inert conditions. Although the United States Pharmacopeia does not specify peroxide limits for crospovidone, the European Pharmacopoeia does, with Type A having a limit of 400 ppm max, and the smaller particle size Type B having a limit of 1000 ppm max.
ISP's standard pharmaceutical grades of crospovidone have peroxide specification limits of 400 ppm max for both Type A and
Type B products. Its new ultra-pure pharmaceutical crospovidone is available in two grades, with peroxide specifications of
30 ppm max and 50 ppm max for Type A and Type B respectively, explains Tim Bee, senior director of the global pharmaeutical
technical operations at ISP.
ISP produces its ultra-pure grades of crospovidone (Polyplasdone Ultra and Ultra-10) at a new facility in Texas City, Texas,
which is also one of two sites where the company manufactures its standard pharmaceutical grades of crospovidone (Polyplasdone
XL and Polyplasdone XL-10). The ultra-pure grades of crospovidone are available in the same typical particle size ranges as
the standard pharmaceutical grades. The ultra-purity grades have average particle sizes of 110–140 Ám (Polyplasdone Ultra)
and average particle sizes of 20-30 Ám (Polyplasdone Ultra-10).
Bee explains that the lower levels of peroxides in the ultra-pure grades of crospovidone are achieved by manufacturing, drying,
packing, and sealing the product under inert conditions (i.e., nitrogen) to limit peroxide formation. ISP has been manufacturing
the standard pharmaceutical grades of crospovidone at its Texas City, facility since 2007, and began work on the high-purity
grades in 2008. Following process improvements and optimization, the ultra-pure grades have been available on a commercial
scale since November 2010. Bee explains that the ultra-pure grades of crospovidone would be beneficial for active ingredients
that need the performance advantages offered by crospovidone, but may be susceptible to peroxides, which could affect drug
stability and possible degradation of the drug substance.