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Recent Advancements in Pharmaceutical Cocrystals, Preparation Methods and Their Applications

The issue of poor aqueous solubility is a major hurdle in pharmaceutical dosage forms design. A large number of active molecules in the research and development pipeline are known to possess poor aqueous solubility and hence are not suitable for further development. Therefore, the pharmaceutical industry is continuously in search of techniques to tackle the issue of poor solubility. Cocrystallization has gained popularity as one such technique for the modulation of physicochemical properties of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). Pharmaceutical cocrystals consists of an API non-covalently linked to a crystal former or coformer that plays an important role in the imparting the desired properties to the cocrystal. Cocrystallization of an API with a suitable coformer not only enhances solubility but also helps in tweaking other physiochemical properties such as stability, bioavailability, mechanical properties, etc. without any change in the pharmacological activity of the API. The past decade saw an enormous growth in cocrystal research which paved the way for drug-drug, higher order and nano-sized cocrystals and further exploration of the applications of cocrystals is still going on. Recently FDA and EMA released regulatory guidelines for pharmaceutical cocrystals which grant them a status similar to that of polymorphs and salts which in turn opened a wider prospect for pharmaceutical cocrystals in terms of intellectual property.

Journal Title: Current Pharmaceutical Design

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