Colonic Delivery Technology

Capsugel offers multiparticulate and capsule-coating technologies to achieve colonic drug delivery. This targeted delivery option has received increased attention not only for treatment of colon-specific diseases such as irritable bowel disease (IBD), but also to take advantage of the colon’s absorptive surface area and conditions to deliver specific drugs and treat specific indications.

Capsugel has successfully used a variety of formulation strategies, tailored to the needs of the specific drug or problem statement, to achieve colonic drug delivery, including:

  • Timed Release: the dosage form releases the drug at a specific time after ingestion. This is done by manipulating the internal capsule fill formulation and/or through the use of an erodible capsule coating.
  • pH-Triggered Release: drug release is triggered by the pH increase formulations encounter when traveling through the GI tract. Formulations are based on polymers that are insoluble at the lower pH in the stomach and upper small intestine and soluble in the higher pH found in the distal small intestine.
  • Enzymatic Triggered Release: starch-based coatings are used that are resistant to digestion in the stomach and small intestine but are degraded by microbial (normal gut flora) enzymes once the dosage form reaches the colon.

One of the challenges to successful colonic delivery is the relatively small amount of water available for dissolution of dosage forms in the colon. The combination of reliable targeting technology and the delivery of drugs in a liquid dosage form can provide an optimal approach for colonic delivery.

We have successfully used these colonic-delivery formulations in liquid fill format for a number of development projects, progressing formulations into preclinical and clinical studies.