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Application of a dermatopharmacokinetic (DPK) method for bioequivalence assessment of topical metronidazole creams.

J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2020;23:437-450

Authors: Rath S, Ramanah A, Bon C, Kanfer I

PURPOSE: The main aim of the current research was to develop and apply a dermatopharmacokinetic (DPK) approach for the bioequivalence assessment of metronidazole (MTZ) topical cream products, indicated in the treatment of rosacea.
METHODS: A DPK methodology using tape stripping (TS) technique was developed by investigating the factors that may influence the TS results viz. tapes, dose durations, number of tapes to be used, pressure application, dose applied and gravimetric analysis of the tapes. An initial dose duration study was performed on 6 healthy participants to determine an appropriate application time duration using the Emax model. The SC thickness was normalised between participants using TEWL measurements. A pivotal study was conducted using both the arms of 10 healthy human participants to demonstrate the ability of the TS method for bioequivalence assessment by comparing the reference product to itself as a positive control and including products with higher and lower strengths of MTZ to serve as negative controls in order to confirm bioinequivalence.
RESULTS: Whereas the reference was found to be bioequivalent when compared to itself, the creams containing 0.56% and 0.95% MTZ (negative controls) were not bioequivalent (bioinequivalent). Furthermore, another product containing 0.75% MTZ was also assessed and was found to be bioequivalent to the reference product. In addition, the use of both forearms of each participant offered an important advantage of significantly reducing the number of human subjects required to demonstrate BE with a high statistical power of > 80%.
CONCLUSION: The data obtained provides compelling evidence that the developed TS method has the potential to be a cost-effective surrogate alternative for lengthy and expensive clinical trials. Consequently, its application can facilitate faster development of generic products which would, in turn, lower the economic burden of healthcare.

PMID: 33156995 [PubMed - in process]

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