Formulation and Scale-up of Delamanid Nanoparticles via Emulsification for Oral Tuberculosis Treatment

Nicholas J. Caggiano, Madeleine S. Armstrong, Joanna S. Georgiou, Aditya Rawal, Brian K. Wilson, Claire E. White, Rodney D. Priestley, Robert K. Prud’homme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Delamanid (DLM) is a hydrophobic small molecule therapeutic used to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). Due to its hydrophobicity and resulting poor aqueous solubility, formulation strategies such as amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) have been investigated to enhance its aqueous dissolution kinetics and thereby improve oral bioavailability. However, ASD formulations are susceptible to temperature- and humidity-induced phase separation and recrystallization under harsh storage conditions typically encountered in areas with high tuberculosis incidence. Nanoencapsulation represents an alternative formulation strategy to increase aqueous dissolution kinetics while remaining stable at elevated temperature and humidity. The stabilizer layer coating the nanoparticle drug core limits the formation of large drug domains by diffusion during storage, representing an advantage over ASDs. Initial attempts to form DLM-loaded nanoparticles via precipitation-driven self-assembly were unsuccessful, as the trifluoromethyl and nitro functional groups present on DLM were thought to interfere with surface stabilizer attachment. Therefore, in this work, we investigated the nanoencapsulation of DLM via emulsification, avoiding the formation of a solid drug core and instead keeping DLM dissolved in a dichloromethane dispersed phase during nanoparticle formation. Initial emulsion formulation screening by probe-tip ultrasonication revealed that a 1:1 mass ratio of lecithin and HPMC stabilizers formed 250 nm size-stable emulsion droplets with 40% DLM loading. Scale-up studies were performed to produce nearly identical droplet size distribution at larger scale using high-pressure homogenization, a continuous and industrially scalable technique. The resulting emulsions were spray-dried to form a dried powder, and in vitro dissolution studies showed dramatically enhanced dissolution kinetics compared to both as-received crystalline DLM and micronized crystalline DLM, owing to the increased specific surface area and partially amorphous character of the DLM-loaded nanoparticles. Solid-state NMR and dissolution studies showed good physical stability of the emulsion powders during accelerated stability testing (50 °C/75% RH, open vial).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4546-4558
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 4 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Drug Discovery
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • emulsion
  • encapsulation
  • nanoparticle
  • oral delivery
  • tuberculosis


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