(19)
(11)EP 2 094 246 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
01.04.2020 Bulletin 2020/14

(21)Application number: 07859925.5

(22)Date of filing:  17.12.2007
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61K 9/16(2006.01)
A61K 31/55(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2007/074617
(87)International publication number:
WO 2008/075762 (26.06.2008 Gazette  2008/26)

(54)

SUSTAINED-RELEASE COMPOSITION AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING THE SAME

ZUSAMMENSETZUNG MIT VERZÖGERTER FREISETZUNG UND HERSTELLUNGSVERFAHREN DAFÜR

COMPOSITION À LIBÉRATION PROLONGÉE ET PROCÉDÉ DE PRODUCTION CORRESPONDANT


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MT NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR
Designated Extension States:
AL BA HR MK RS

(30)Priority: 18.12.2006 US 875364 P
11.05.2007 US 917401 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
02.09.2009 Bulletin 2009/36

(73)Proprietor: Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Osaka-shi, Osaka 541-0045 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • FUTO, Tomomichi
    Osaka-shi, Osaka 532-8686 (JP)
  • SAITO, Kazuhiro
    Osaka-shi, Osaka 532-8686 (JP)
  • HOSHINO, Tetsuo
    Osaka-shi, Osaka 532-8686 (JP)
  • HORI, Masuhisa
    Osaka-shi, Osaka 532-8686 (JP)

(74)Representative: Jones, Nicholas Andrew 
Withers & Rogers LLP 4 More London Riverside
London, SE1 2AU
London, SE1 2AU (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A- 1 048 301
EP-A1- 1 532 985
US-A- 5 004 602
US-A1- 2002 173 467
EP-A1- 1 158 014
WO-A1-2006/004167
US-A- 5 480 656
  
  • OGAWA Y ET AL: "CONTROLLED-RELEASE OF LEUPROLIDE ACETATE FROM POLYLACTIC ACID OR COPOLY(LACTIC/GLYCOLI) ACID MICROCAPSULES: INFLUENCE OF MOLECULAR WEIGHT AND COPOLYMER RATIO OF POLYMER", CHEMICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL BULLETIN, PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF JAPAN, JP, vol. 36, no. 4, 1 January 1988 (1988-01-01), pages 1502-1507, XP001120337, ISSN: 0009-2363
  • KOSTANSKI J W ET AL: "PREPARATION, CHARACTERIZATION, AND IN VITRO EVALUATION OF 1- AND 4-MONTH CONTROLLED RELEASE ORNTIDE PLA AND PLGA MICROSPHERES", PHARMACEUTICAL DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY, NEW YORK, NY, US, vol. 5, no. 4, 1 January 2000 (2000-01-01) , pages 585-596, XP009001300, ISSN: 1083-7450, DOI: 10.1081/PDT-100102043
  • HIROAKI OKADA ET AL: "BIODEGRADABLE MICROSPHERES IN DRUG DELIVERY", CRITICAL REVIEWS IN THERAPEUTIC DRUG CARRIER SYSTEMS, BEGELL HOUSE PUBLISHING INC, US, vol. 12, no. 1, 1 January 1995 (1995-01-01), pages 1-99, XP000604141, ISSN: 0743-4863
  • OKADA H ED - MATTOUSSI HEDI ET AL: "ONE- AND THREE-MONTH RELEASE INJECTABLE MICROSPHERES OF THE LH-RH SUPERAGONIST LEUPRORELIN ACETATE", ADVANCED DRUG DELIVERY REVIEWS, ELSEVIER, AMSTERDAM, NL, vol. 28, 1 January 1997 (1997-01-01), pages 43-70, XP001040332, ISSN: 0169-409X, DOI: 10.1016/S0169-409X(97)00050-1
 
Remarks:
The file contains technical information submitted after the application was filed and not included in this specification
 
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

Technical Field



[0001] The present invention relates to a sustained-release preparation of an LH-RH agonist, a method for producing the same, and a use as a medicament and the like.

Background Art



[0002] As a conventional art, for example, Japanese Patent No. 3116311 discloses a microspherical sustained-release preparation comprised of a water-soluble drug such as a physiologically active peptide and a polylactic acid, and as a method for producing the same, there is described a method which comprises dissolving a water-soluble drug such as a physiologically active peptide and a biodegradable polymer in a mixed solvent of a water-immiscible solvent such as dichloromethane and a water-miscible solvent such as ethanol, and adding the solution into water etc. to produce an O/W emulsion, followed by subjecting to an in-water drying method to prepare a sustained-release microcapsule. In addition, Japanese Patent No. 3512408 discloses microspherical microparticles comprising of a water-soluble physiologically active peptide and a polylactic acid or a copolymer of lactic acid and glycolic acid, wherein the release dynamic of the drug is controlled, and as a method for preparing the microparticle, there is described a method which comprises dissolving a polymer in a volatile and water-immiscible solvent, mixing a solution separately prepared by dissolving a water-soluble physiologically active peptide in water-miscible solvent with the above polymer solution, and emulsifying the resulting solution in an aqueous phase containing an emulsifier, followed by removing the solvent from the obtained O/W emulsion to prepare the microspherical microparticles. However, the drug content in each of the sustained-release preparations is about 10% or about 0.1 to 5%, and a sustained-release preparation capable of sustainably releasing the drug over about two months is not described.

[0003] Furthermore, Pharmaceutical Research, Vol. 19, No. 4 (April, 2002) discloses a microspherical sustained-release preparation comprised of leuprolide acetate and polylactic acid, and as a process for preparing the preparation, there is described a method which comprises mixing a methanol solution of leuprolide and a dichloromethane solution of polylactic acid, and dispersing the solution in an aqueous solution of polyvinylalcohol, followed by removing the organic solvent to prepare the microspherical sustained-release preparation. The preparation has a characteristic of releasing the drug over a period of 180 to 240 days. However, the drug release is small in amount at the first or second month from the early period of administration after initial burst, and the preparation exhibits a typical triphasic drug release.

[0004] EP 1 048 301 relates to a sustained-release composition containing a hydroxynaphthoic acid salt of a biologically active substance and a biodegradable polymer, a method of its production, and a pharmaceutical composition containing said sustained-release composition.

Disclosure of Invention



[0005] The present invention is intended to provide a novel composition containing an LH-RH agonist in high content and capable of achieving a stable releasing rate over a long period of time by suppressing the initial excessive release within one day after the administration and obtaining a stable drug release in the onset part over one day to about one month after the administration, and a method for producing the same.

[0006] Also, the present invention is intended to provide a sustained-release preparation which stabilizes blood drug concentration for a long period by the above-described stable drug release over a long period of time.

[0007] Furthermore, the present invention is intended to provide a sustained-release preparation in which the volume or weight of the whole sustained-release preparation required for per unit dose of the active ingredient is reduced by increasing a content of a physiologically active substance in the preparation to an elevated amount, that is, increasing the content of the physiologically active substance per unit volume of the sustained-release preparation.

[0008] Moreover, the present invention is intended to provide a sustained-release preparation in which a physical burden of patients supposed to be caused by administering a preparation having a bulky unit volume such as pain at the time of administration and induration after the administration is reduced by the preparation having an elevated drug content mentioned above.

[0009] In addition, the present invention can achieve at the same time the conflicting objects of a reduction of a physical burden at the time of administration and a reduction of ambulatory burden by decreasing administration frequency with the above-described preparation in which both a stable sustained release over a long period of time and an elevation of drug content are achieved at the same time.

[0010] The present inventors have intensively investigated in view of the above-mentioned circumstances, and as a result, have found that a sustained-release preparation comprised of a specific combination or a specific composition and obtained by a specific process for preparation keeps the initial excessive release within one day after the administration at extremely low level and exhibits ideal drug-release characteristic features in the onset part from one day to about one month after administration to a patient, and by using the present sustained-release preparation, an extremely stable blood drug level transition can be achieved over a long period of time due to the inhibition of the initial excessive release within one day after the administration and long-term stable release rate by ideal release dynamics in the onset part in addition to unexpectedly, being able to incorporate a physiologically active substance at a high content.

[0011] As a result of a further study based on these knowledge, the inventors have completed the present invention.

[0012] That is, the present invention provides:
  1. [1] A sustained-release composition in which a physiologically active substance comprised of a water-soluble physiologically active peptide is substantially uniformly dispersed in a microcapsule comprised of a lactic acid polymer, or a salt thereof, wherein the physiologically active substance is contained in an amount of 15 to 35 (weight/weight) % to the total microcapsules, weight-average molecular weight (Mw) of the lactic acid polymer is 19,000 to 27,000 (g/mol),
    wherein the physiologically active peptide is a LH-RH agonist represented by a general formula[II]: 5-oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-Y-Leu-Arg-Pro-Z wherein, Y represents DLeu, DAla, DTrp, DSer (tBu), D2Nal or DHis (ImBzl) and Z represents NH-C2H5 or Gly-NH2, or a salt thereof,
    wherein the sustained-release composition further contains stearic acid, or a salt thereof, in a ratio of 0.5 to 1.5 moles to 1 mole of the physiologically active peptide, and wherein the lactic acid polymer is a polymer consisting only of lactic acid.
  2. [2] The sustained-release composition according to [1] above, wherein the physiologically active substance is a peptide of formula:
    5-oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-DLeu-Leu-Arg-Pro-NH-C2H5 or an acetate thereof.
  3. [3] The sustained-release composition according to [1] above, characterized in that a content of the contained physiologically active substance is 17 to 26 (weight/weight)% to the total microcapsules.
  4. [4] The sustained-release composition according to [1] above which is obtained by:
    1. (i) dissolving the lactic acid polymer or the salt thereof in a volatile water-immiscible first solvent to prepare a first solution,
    2. (ii) dissolving the physiologically active substance comprised of the water-soluble physiologically active peptide in a water-miscible second solvent to prepare a second solution,
    3. (iii) mixing the resultant first solution and the resultant second solution to prepare a third solution in which the lactic acid polymer or the salt thereof and the physiologically active substance are uniformly dissolved,
    4. (iv) adding stearic acid to the first solution and/or the second solution or the third solution in a ratio of 0.5 to 1.5 moles to 1 mole of the physiologically active peptide,
    5. (v) dispersing the resultant third solution in a fourth solution comprised of an aqueous solution of a surfactant to prepare an O/W emulsion at a controlled temperature of 15 to 35°C, and
    6. (vi) removing the first solvent and the second solvent from the generated microcapsule by an in-water drying method at a controlled temperature of 15 to 35°C.
  5. [5] The sustained-release composition according to [4] above, characterized in that a mixed solvent in which a water-miscible third solvent is further added to the first solvent is used as a solvent for dissolving the lactic acid polymer or the salt thereof in the preparation of the first solution.
  6. [6] The sustained-release composition according to [4] above, wherein the first solvent is dichloromethane.
  7. [7] The sustained-release composition according to [4] above, wherein the second solvent and/or the third solvent is a lower alcohol.
  8. [8] The sustained-release composition according to [7] above, wherein the lower alcohol is methanol, ethanol, or propanol.
  9. [9] The sustained-release composition according to [4] above, characterized in that a volume ratio of the water-immiscible solvent and the water-miscible solvent in the third solution is 35:65 to 55:45.
  10. [10] The sustained-release composition according to [4] above, characterized in that a polymer concentration in the first solution is 33 to 45% by weight.
  11. [11] The sustained-release composition according to [4] above, characterized in that a loading amount of the physiologically active substance in the preparation of the third solution is 17 to 50% by weight.
  12. [12] The sustained-release composition according to [4] above, characterized in that a content of the contained physiologically active substance is 17 to 26 (weight/weight)% to the total microcapsules.
  13. [13] The sustained-release composition according to [12] above, characterized in that a loading amount of the physiologically active substance in the preparation of the third solution is 19 to 38% by weight.
  14. [14] The sustained-release composition according to [12] above, characterized in that a loading amount of the physiologically active substance in the preparation of the third solution is 20 to 23% by weight.
  15. [15] The sustained-release composition according to [1] above, characterized in that a ratio of the stearic acid to the total microcapsules is 0.01 to 50% by weight.
  16. [16] The sustained-release composition according to [1] above, which is characterized by being easily dispersible in a disperse medium.
  17. [17] The sustained-release composition according to [16] above, which is characterized by being stable for 24 hours or more after dispersion in the disperse medium.
  18. [18] The sustained-release composition according to [1] above, which is characterized in that a ratio of the weight-average molecular weight (Mw) to the number-average molecular weight (Mn) is more than 1.5.
  19. [19] The sustained-release composition according to [1] above, characterized in that the lactic acid polymer is polylactic acid or polylactide.
  20. [20] The sustained-release composition according to [1] above, characterized in that the lactic acid polymer is poly-DL-lactic acid or poly-DL-lactide.
  21. [21] The sustained-release composition according to [1] above, wherein the composition contains 5.0% by weight or less of a lactic acid polymer having a molecular weight of 5,000 or less.
  22. [22] The sustained-release composition according to [1] above, wherein the composition contains 1.5% by weight or less of a lactic acid polymer is a polymer having a molecular weight of 3,000 or less.
  23. [23] The sustained-release composition according to [1] aboev, wherein the composition contains 0.1% by weight or less lactic acid polymer having a molecular weight of 1,000 or less.
  24. [24] The sustained-release composition according to [1] above, wherein the weight-average molecular weight (Mw) of the lactic acid polymer is 19,500 to 26,500.
  25. [25] A process for preparation of a sustained-release composition of a microcapsule containing a physiologically active substance at 15 to 35% by weight to the whole microcapsules, comprising steps of:
    1. (i) dissolving a lactic acid polymer or a salt thereof in a volatile water-immiscible first solvent to prepare a first solution, wherein the lactic acid polymer is a polymer consisting only of lactic acid,
    2. (ii) dissolving the physiologically active substance comprised of a water-soluble physiologically active peptide in a water-miscible second solvent to prepare a second solution,
    3. (iii) mixing the resultant first solution and the resultant second solution to prepare a third solution in which the lactic acid polymer or the salt thereof and the physiologically active substance are uniformly dissolved,
    4. (iv) adding stearic acid to the first solution and/or the second solution or the third solution in a ratio of 0.5 to 1.5 moles to 1 mole of the physiologically active peptide,
    5. (v) dispersing the resultant third solution in a fourth solution comprised of an aqueous solution of a surfactant to prepare an O/W emulsion at a controlled temperature of 15 to 35°C, and
    6. (vi) removing the first solvent and the second solvent from the microcapsule by an in-water drying method at a controlled temperature of 15 to 35°C,
    wherein the physiologically active peptide is a LH-RH agonist represented by a general formula[II]:

    5-oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-Y-Leu-Arg-Pro-Z wherein, Y represents DLeu, DAla, DTrp, DSer (tBu), D2Nal or DHis (ImBzl) and Z represents NH-C2H5 or Gly-NH2, or a salt thereof, and

    the weight-average molecular weight (Mw) of the lactic acid polymer is 19,000 to 27,000 (g/mol).

  26. [26] The process according to [25] above, which is characterized in that the stearic acid is dissolved in the second solution.
  27. [27] The process according to [25] above, which is characterized in that a loading amount of the physiologically active substance in the preparation of the third solution is 17 to 50% by weight.
  28. [28] The process according to [25] above, which is characterized in that a content of the contained physiologically active substance is 17 to 26 (weight/weight)% to the total microcapsules.
  29. [29] The process according to [28] above, which is characterized in that a loading amount of the physiologically active substance in the preparation of the third solution is 19 to 38% by weight.
  30. [30] A pharmaceutical composition comprising the sustained-release composition according to [1] above.
  31. [31] A sustained-release composition according to [1] above for use in the prophylaxis or treatment of prostate cancer, prostatic hyperplasia, endometriosis, uterine fibroid, uterine fibroma, precocious puberty, dysmenorrhea or breast cancer.
  32. [32] A sustained-release composition according to [1] above for use in the prophylaxis of premenopausal breast cancer postoperative recurrence.
  33. [33] Use of the sustained-release composition according to [1] above for the manufacture of a prophylactic or therapeutic agent for prostate cancer, prostatic hyperplasia, endometriosis, uterine fibroid, uterine fibroma, precocious puberty, dysmenorrhea or breast cancer.
  34. [34] Use of the sustained-release composition according to [1] above for the manufacture of a prophylactic agent for premenopausal breast cancer postoperative recurrence.
  35. [35] A method of contraception comprising administering the sustained-release composition according to [1] above.

Brief Description of Drawings



[0013] 

Fig. 1 is a graph showing each transition of blood drug level when the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 1 and Comparative Example 1 is respectively subcutaneously administered to a rat. The numerical value of the horizontal axis shows time, and the numerical value of the longitudinal axis shows a blood concentration.

Fig. 2 is a graph showing each transition of blood drug level when the microcapsule powder prepared in Examples 1, 2, 3, and 4 is respectively subcutaneously administered to a rat. The numerical value of the horizontal axis shows time, and the numerical value of the longitudinal axis shows a blood concentration.

Fig. 3 is a graph showing Cmax calculated from each blood drug level transition when the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Example 4, Example 5 and Example 6 is respectively subcutaneously administered to a rat. The numerical value of the horizontal axis shows the temperature at an emulsification, and the numerical value of the longitudinal axis shows Cmax.

Fig. 4 is a graph showing area under the blood concentration-time curve (AUC) for 24 hours after the administration calculated from each blood drug level transition when the microcapsule powder prepared in Examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 is respectively subcutaneously administered to a rat. The numerical value of the horizontal axis shows the temperature at an emulsification, and the numerical value of the longitudinal axis shows AUC.

Fig. 5 is a graph showing AUC for a period from 4th weeks to 13th weeks after the administration calculated from each blood drug level transition when the microcapsule powder prepared in Examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 is respectively subcutaneously administered to a rat. The numerical value of the horizontal axis shows the temperature at an emulsification, and the numerical value of the longitudinal axis shows AUC.

Fig. 6 is a graph showing each blood drug level transition when the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 5 and Example 6 is respectively subcutaneously administered to a rat. The numerical value of the horizontal axis shows time, and the numerical value of the longitudinal axis shows a blood concentration.

Fig. 7 is a graph showing each dispersion time when the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 6 and Comparative Example 1 is respectively suspended into a dispersion medium. The horizontal axis shows the experimenter (total 3), and the numerical value of the longitudinal axis shows the time for dispersion.

Fig. 8 is a graph showing each blood drug level transition when the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 7 and Comparative Example 4 is respectively subcutaneously administered to a rat. The numerical value of the horizontal axis shows time, and the numerical value of the longitudinal axis shows the blood concentration.

Fig. 9 is a graph showing each blood drug level transition when the microcapsule powder prepared in Examples 8 and 10, and Comparative Example 5 is respectively subcutaneously administered to a rat. The numerical value of the horizontal axis shows time, and the numerical value of the longitudinal axis shows the blood concentration.


Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention



[0014] The physiologically active peptide is a physiologically active luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH). The physiologically active substance to be used in the present invention may be as it is, or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof.

[0015] Examples of such a salt include, in the case that the physiologically active substance has a basic group such as an amino group, a salt with an inorganic acid (referred to also as an inorganic free acid) (e.g., carbonic acid, bicarbonic acid, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, boric acid, etc.), an organic acid (referred to also as an organic free acid) (e.g., succinic acid, acetic acid, propionic acid, trifluoroacetic acid, etc.) or the like.

[0016] Examples of the salt include, in the case that the physiologically active substance has an acidic group such as a carboxyl group, a salt with an inorganic base (referred to also as an inorganic free base) (e.g., alkaline metal such as sodium and potassium, alkaline earth metal such as calcium and magnesium, etc.), an organic base (referred to also as an organic free base) (e.g., organic amines such as triethylamine, basic amino acids such as arginine, etc.) or the like. Moreover, the physiologically active peptide may form a metal complex compound (e.g., a copper complex, a zinc complex, etc.).

[0017] The physiologically active peptide is preferably an LH-RH derivative that is useful for a hormone dependent disease, especially, sex hormone dependent disease such as sex hormone dependent cancer (e.g., prostatic cancer, uterus cancer, breast cancer, hypophyseal tumor, etc.), benign prostatic hypertrophy, endometriosis, uterine fibroid, precocious puberty, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, multilocular ovarian syndrome and the like, and contraception (or infertility in the case of utilizing a rebound effect after the drug withdrawal) and premenopausal breast cancer postoperative recurrence, and a salt thereof. Furthermore, the example includes an LH-RH derivative that is effective for a benign or malignant tumor that is independent from sex hormone but susceptible to LH-RH, or the salt thereof.

[0018] The LH-RH agonist is a physiologically active peptide represented by a general formula [II]: 5-oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-Y-Leu-Arg-Pro-Z
wherein, Y represents a residue selected from DLeu, DAla, DTrp, DSer(tBu), D2Nal and DHis(ImBzl), and Z represents NH-C2H5 or Gly-NH2, or a salt thereof. In particular, a peptide in which Y is DLeu and Z is NH-C2H5 (that is, Peptide A represented by 5-oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-DLeu-Leu-Arg-Pro-NH-C2H5: leuprorelin) or a salt thereof (e.g., acetate) is suitable.

[0019] Those peptides can be prepared by a method described in the foregoing references or the publications or analogous methods thereof.

[0020] The abbreviations used herein represent the following:

Abbreviation: Name

N(4H2-furoyl)Gly: N-tetrahydrofuroylglycine residue

NAc: N-acetyl group

D2Nal: D-3-(2-naphthyl)alanine residue

D4ClPhe: D-3-(4-chloro)phenylalanine residue

D3Pal: D-3-(3-pyridyl)alanine residue

NMeTyr: N-methyltyrosine residue

Aph(Atz): N-[5'-(3'-amino-1'H-1',2',4'-triazolyl)]phenylalanine residue

NMeAph(Atz): N-methyl-[5'-(3'-amino-1'H-1',2',4'-triazolyl)]phenylalanine residue

DLys(Nic): D-(e-N-nicotinoyl)lysine residue

Dcit: D-citrulline residue

DLys(AzaglyNic): D-(azaglycylnicotinoyl)lysine residue

DLys(AzaglyFur): D-(azaglycylfuranyl)lysine residue

DhArg(Et2): D-(N,N'-diethyl)homoarginine residue

DAph(Atz): D-N-[5'-(3'-amino-1'H-1',2',4'-triazolyl)]phenylalanine residue

DhCi: D-homocitrulline residue

Lys(Nisp): (e-N-isopropyl)lysine residue

hArg(Et2): (N,N'-diethyl)homoarginine residue



[0021] Otherwise, an amino acid, when designated as an abbreviation, is based on an abbreviation by IUPAC-IUB Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature (European Journal of Biochemistry, Vol. 138, pages 9 to 37, 1984) or a common abbreviation in the art, and when an amino acid can have optical isomers, unless otherwise specified, it represents an L form.

[0022] The lactic acid polymer to be used in the present invention (hereinafter, occasionally abbreviated as lactic acid polymer of the present invention) is a polymer consisting only of lactic acid. In the sustained-release preparation of the present invention, poly-DL-lactic acid is preferred.

[0023] Furthermore, the weight-average molecular weight of the lactic acid polymer used in the sustained-release preparation of the present invention is 19,000 to 27,000. In the sustained-release preparation in which the release of the physiologically active substance in vivo from the preparation can maintain an effective drug blood concentration for a period from about 120 days to 400 days, 19,000 to 27,000 is used, about 19,500 to about 26,500 is more preferable, and about 20,000 to about 26,000 is further more preferable.

[0024] When the weight-average molecular weight (Mw) of the lactic acid polymer is 19,000 to 27,000, it is preferable that a ratio of the weight-average molecular weight (Mw) to the number-average molecular weight (Mn) is more than 1.5. Here, a weight-average molecular weight (Mw) and a number-average molecular weight (Mn) can be measured by a gel permeation chromatography (GPC).

[0025] In addition, the lactic acid polymer to be used in the sustained-release preparation in which the release of the physiologically active substance in vivo from the preparation can maintain an effective drug blood concentration for a period from about 120 days to 400 days is a polymer wherein, usually, a content of a polymer having a molecular weight of 5,000 or less is about 5% by weight or less, preferably, a content of a polymer having a molecular weight of 5,000 or less is about 5% by weight or less and a content of a polymer having a molecular weight of 3,000 or less is about 1.5% by weight or less, further preferably, a content of a polymer having a molecular weight of 5,000 or less is about 5% by weight or less, a content of a polymer having a molecular weight of 3,000 or less is about 1.5% by weight or less and a content of a polymer having a molecular weight of 1,000 or less is about 0.1% by weight or less.

[0026] The lactic acid polymer may be commercially available or those polymerized by a known method. The known polymerization method includes, for example, a method of polycondensing lactic acid, a method by ring-opening polymerization of lactide using a catalyst such as Lewis acid such as diethyl zinc, triethyl aluminum and tin octylate, or metal salt, (e.g., International Publication WO 00/35990, and the like), in addition to a method by ring-opening polymerization wherein a catalyst is added to lactide under heating (e.g., J. Med. Chem, 16, 897 (1973)).

[0027] Examples of the polymerization form include a bulk polymerization wherein lactide and the like is melted to be subjected to a polymerization, a solution polymerization wherein lactide and the like is dissolved in an appropriate solvent to be subjected to a polymerization. Among them, it is preferable in industrial production that a polymer obtained by a solution polymerization is used as a raw material of a lactic acid polymer of the present invention.

[0028] Examples of the solvent for dissolving lactide in the solution polymerization include aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene, toluene and xylene, and dekalin, dimethylformamide and the like.

[0029] For hydrolyzing the lactic acid polymer having high-molecular weight obtained as described above, a hydrolysis method known per se is used, for example, the lactic acid polymer having a high-molecular weight may be dissolved in an appropriate solvent and then, react with adding water and if necessary, an acid.

[0030] Examples of the solvent for dissolving the lactic acid polymer having a high-molecular weight include a solvent that can dissolve the lactic acid polymer with an amount of 10-fold weight or less of the polymer, and specifically include a halogenated hydrocarbons such as chloroform and dichloromethane, aromatic hydrocarbons such as toluene, o-xylene, m-xylene and p-xylene, and cyclic ethers such as tetrahydrofuran, acetone, N,N-dimethylformamide and the like. Additionally, in the polymerization of a lactic acid polymer having a high-molecular weight, when a solvent available for hydrolysis of a lactic acid polymer having a high-molecular weight is used, operations of the polymerization and the hydrolysis can be performed continuously without isolation of the polymerized lactic acid polymer having a high-molecular weight.

[0031] The amount of the solvent to be used for dissolving the lactic acid polymer having a high-molecular weight is generally 0.1 to 100 times, preferably 1 to 10 times to the lactic acid polymer as a solute.

[0032] The additive amount of water is generally 0.001 to 1-fold weight, preferably 0.01 to 0.1-fold weight to the lactic acid polymer having a high-molecular weight.

[0033] The acid to be added if necessary, includes an inorganic acid such as hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, and nitric acid, and an organic acid such as lactic acid, acetic acid, trifluoroacetic acid, and preferably a lactic acid.

[0034] The additive amount of the acid is generally 0 to 10-fold weight, and preferably 0.1 to 1-fold weight to the lactic acid polymer having a high-molecular weight.

[0035] The temperature of the hydrolysis reaction is generally 0 to 150°C, preferably 20 to 80°C.

[0036] The time of the hydrolysis reaction may vary depending on the weight-average molecular weight of the lactic acid polymer having a high-molecular weight and the reaction temperature, and is generally 10 minutes to 100 hours, and preferably 1 to 20 hours.

[0037] The termination time of the hydrolysis treatment is determined based on the weight-average molecular weight of the hydrolysis product. That is, sampling is appropriately performed during the hydrolysis treatment, the weight-average molecular weight of the hydrolysis product in the sample is measured by a gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and, if it is confirmed that the molecular weight is in the targeted numeric range, the hydrolysis treatment is terminated.

[0038] As a method for precipitating the targeted lactic acid polymer from the solution containing the hydrolysis product obtained by subjecting the lactic acid polymer having a high-molecular weight to hydrolysis as described above, a method contacting the solution containing the hydrolysis product with a solvent that can precipitate the targeted lactic acid polymer contained therein, and the like are exemplified.

[0039] Examples of a preferable embodiment of the solution containing hydrolysis product include, for example, a solution in which about 10 to 50 wt% of the lactic acid polymer having a weight-average molecular weight of 15,000 to 50,000, preferably 15,000 to 30,000, more preferably 17,000 to 26,000, especially preferably 17,500 to 25,500 is dissolved in a solvent capable of dissolving the lactic acid polymer having a high-molecular weight such as halogenated hydrocarbons such as chloroform and dichloromethane, aromatic hydrocarbons such as toluene, o-xylene, m-xylene, and p-xylene, and cyclic ethers such as tetrahydrofuran, acetone, N,N-dimethylformamide. When the sustained-release preparation of the present invention does not contain hydroxynaphthoic acid, a solution in which about 10 to 50wt% of the lactic acid polymer having a weight-average molecular weight of 15,000 to 50,000, preferably 15,000 to 40,000 is dissolved, and the like are exemplified.

[0040] Examples of the solvent capable of precipitating the targeted lactic acid polymer contained in the solution containing hydrolysis product include, for example, alcohols such as methanol and ethanol, chain-ethers such as isopropyl ether, aliphatic hydrocarbons such as hexane, water and the like.

[0041] The amount to be used of the solvent capable of precipitating the targeted lactic acid polymer is generally 0.1 to 100-fold weight, preferably, 1 to 10-fold weight to the solvent in the solution containing hydrolysis product.

[0042] The preferable specific example of the combination of kind and amount to be used of such solvent includes an embodiment wherein isopropyl ether as a solvent for reducing the solubility is used with an amount of 2 to 10-fold weight to the dichloromethane in terms of the solution containing hydrolysis product wherein 1 to 5-fold weight of dichloromethane is used as a solvent to the solute.

[0043] When the solvent capable of precipitating the targeted lactic acid polymer as a solute is contacted with the solution containing hydrolysis product, the temperature of the solvent is generally -20 to 60°C, preferably, 0 to 40°C, and the temperature of the solution containing hydrolysis product is generally 0 to 40°C, preferably 10 to 30°C.

[0044] Examples of the method for contacting the solvent and the solution containing hydrolysis product include a method of adding the solution containing hydrolysis product into the solvent at one time, a method of adding dropwise the solution containing hydrolysis product to the solvent, a method of adding the solvent to the solution containing hydrolysis product at one time, or a method of adding dropwise the solvent to the solution containing hydrolysis product.

[0045] The lactic acid polymer of the present invention obtained as described above is preferable as a base substrate for a sustained-release preparation because the amount of terminal carboxyl groups is in a preferable range as a base substrate for a sustained-release preparation.

[0046] In the sustained-release preparation of the present invention, stearic acid is added into the microcapsule of the sustained-release preparation, so that the blood drug concentration is idealized in an onset part within a certain period from the early stage on the administration to a patient and a water-soluble physiologically active peptide as an active ingredient can be stably sustained-released over a more longer period of time.

[0047] The sustained-release preparation of the present invention can include further fatty acids. The further fatty acid to be used in the present invention means a carboxylic acid that has a chain structure of straight chain or alkyl group having side chain and has one carboxyl group, as well as benzoic acid, hydroxynaphthoic acid, and pamoic acid. The carboxylic acid that has a chain structure of straight chain or alkyl group having side chain is preferably those having four or more carbons, and specifically includes butyric acid, valeric acid, caproic acid, enanthic acid, caprylic acid, pelargonic acid, capric acid, undecylic acid, lauric acid, tridecylic acid, myristic acid, pentadecylic acid, palmitic acid, heptadecylic acid, nonadecanoic acid, arachidic acid, isocrotonic acid, undecylenic acid, oleic acid, elaidic acid, sorbic acid, linoleic acid, lionlenic acid, arachidonic acid, and the like. Benzoic acid, hydroxynaphthoic acid, pamoic acid and the like are more preferred.

[0048] The ratio of stearic acid is 0.5 to 1.5 moles, to 1 mole of the water-soluble physiologically active peptide or a salt thereof.

[0049] The weight ratio of the fatty acid to the whole microcapsule is preferably about 0.01 to about 50% by weight, preferably about 0.1 to ab 25% by weight, further more preferably about 2 to 10% by weight.

[0050] The weight ratio of the water-soluble physiologically active peptide in the composition of the present invention may vary depending on the kind of the physiologically active peptide, the desired pharmacological effect, duration of the effect, and the like. The weight ratio of the water-soluble physiologically active peptide in the composition of the present invention is 15 to 35% by weight, preferably, about 16 to about 30% by weight, more preferably about 17 to about 26% by weight, further more preferably about 17 to about 23% by weight, and most preferably about 18 to about 22% by weight to the whole microcapsule (the content of the physiologically active substance in the microcapsule).

[0051] The form of the sustained-release composition herein is in the form of microcapsules. Moreover, the microcapsules herein indicate an injectable spherical fine particle that can be dispersed in a solution. The form can be confirmed through observation by, for example, a scanning electron microscope.

[0052] A method for producing the sustained-release composition (microcapsule) containing the present physiologically active substance or a salt thereof and the present lactic acid polymer or a salt thereof will be exemplified below.

[0053] In the following production process, where appropriate, a drug retaining agent (e.g., gelatin, salicylic acid and the like) may be added by a method known per se.

[0054] In the present method, firstly, the lactic acid polymer of the present invention (hereinafter, referred to also as a biodegradable polymer of the present invention) or a salt thereof is dissolved in a volatile water-immiscible first solvent to prepare a first solution. The solvent used as the above-described first solvent has preferably a boiling point of 100°C or lower.

[0055] As the first solvent, for example, a halogenated hydrocarbon (e.g., dichloromethane, chloroform, dichloroethane, trichloroethane, carbon tetrachloride, and the like), ethers (e.g., diethyl ether, diisopropyl ether, and the like), a fatty ester (e.g., ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, and the like), an aromatic hydrocarbon (e.g., benzene, toluene, xylene, and the like) are used. Among them, a halogenated hydrocarbon is preferable, and dichloromethane is especially suitable. Moreover, they may be mixed to use at an appropriate ratio.

[0056] The concentration of the biodegradable polymer of the present invention in an organic solvent solution may vary depending on the molecular weight of the biodegradable polymer of the present invention and the kind of the organic solvent, but, for example, when dichloromethane is used as an organic solvent, the concentration is generally selected from about 0.5 to about 70% by weight, more preferably about 1 to about 60% by weight, and especially preferably about 33 to about 45% by weight.

[0057] Then, the physiologically active substance comprised of the water-soluble physiologically active peptide is dissolved in a water-miscible second solvent to prepare a second solution. The water-miscible solvent used as the above second solvent is miscible with water at a constant rate, and preferably has a boiling point of 100°C or lower.

[0058] As the second solvent, for example, lower alcohols (e.g., methanol, ethanol, propanol, and the like), acetonitrile, acetone, tetrahydrofuran and the like are used. Among them, a lower alcohol is preferable, and methanol and ethanol are especially suitable. In addition, they may be mixed to use at an appropriate ratio.

[0059] Furthermore, as a solvent to dissolve the lactic acid polymer or a salt thereof in preparing the first solution, in addition to the use of the first solvent, a water-miscible third solvent can be added thereto. In this case, the third solvent can be selected from the same solvent as the second solvent.

[0060] Subsequently, the resultant first solution and the second solution are mixed to prepare a third solution. The resultant third solution is preferably a solution wherein the lactic acid polymer or a salt thereof and the physiologically active substance are uniformly dissolved, and additionally, in the next step, the lactic acid polymer or a salt thereof and the physiologically active substance are not deposited during the process of removing the solvent from the solution.

[0061] In this case, the physiologically active substance is to be added so that the physiologically active substance is contained with the amount of 15 to 35 (weight/weight) % to the whole microcapsule (content of the physiologically active substance in microcapsule). Therefore, the loading amount of drug such as physiologically active substance is about 17 to about 50% by weight, preferably about 18 to about 43% by weight, more preferably about 19 to about 38% by weight, further more preferably about 19 to about 25% by weight, and most preferably about 20 to about 23% by weight. Herein, the loading amount is a calculated rate of the added amount of physiologically active substance to the total additive amount of each component comprising the microcapsule in the preparation. On the other hand, the entrapment ratio of the drug such as physiologically active substance is about 75% by weight or more, preferably about 80% by weight or more, more preferably about 82% by weight or more, further more preferably about 85% by weight or more, and most preferably about 89% by weight or more. Herein, the entrapment ratio is a calculated rate of the drug incorporated into microcapsule to the added amount of the physiologically active substance.

[0062] The volume ratio of the above water-immiscibile solvent and water-miscible solvent (including the third solvent in the case that the third solvent is added to the first solvent) to be used in the step preparing the third solution is generally 35:65 to 55:45.

[0063] Then, the resultant third solution is dispersed into a fourth solution comprised of aqueous solution of an emulsifier to prepare the O (oil phase)/W (water phase) emulsion, and then microcapsule is prepared by removing the above-mentioned first and second solvents. When a third solvent is added to the first solvent, the third solvent is simultaneously removed at this step. In this case, the water phase volume is generally selected from about 1 to about 10,000 times, more preferably about 5 to about 5,000 times, and especially preferably about 10 to about 2,000 times of the oil phase volume.

[0064] The emulsifier contained in the above water phase generally may be any emulsifier which can form a stable O/W emulsion. Specifically, for example, anionic surfactants (e.g., sodium oleate, sodium stearate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and the like), nonionic surfactants (e.g., polyoxyethylene sorbitan fatty ester [Tween 80, Tween 60; Atlas Powder Co. Ltd], polyoxyethylene castor oil derivatives [HCO-60, HCO-50, Nikko Chemicals Co. Ltd], and the like), polyvinylpyrrolidone, polyvinyl alcohol, carboxymethylcellulose, lecithin, gelatin, and hyaluronic acid are used. One kind or some of these may be used alone or in combination. The concentration upon use is preferably in the range of about 0.01 to 10% by weight, and more preferably in the range of about 0.05 to about 5% by weight.

[0065] An osmo-regulator may be added to the above water phase. Said osmo-regulator may be any one which shows an osmotic pressure in aqueous solution.

[0066] Examples of the osmo-regulators include, for example, polyvalent alcohols, monovalent alcohols, monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharide and amino acids or derivatives thereof.

[0067] For the above polyvalent alcohols, for example, trivalent alcohols such as glycerin, pentavalent alcohols such as arabitol, xylitol, and adonitol, hexavalent alcohols such as mannitol, sorbitol and dulcitol are used. Among them, hexavalent alcohols is preferable, and mannitol is especially suitable.

[0068] The above monovalent alcohols include, for example, methanol, ethanol, and isopropyl alcohol, and among them, ethanol is preferable.

[0069] For the above monosaccharides, for example, pentoses such as arabinose, xylose, ribose and 2-deoxyribose, hexoses such as glucose, fructose, galactose, mannose, sorbose, rhamnose and fucose are used, and among them, hexoses are preferable.

[0070] For the above oligosaccharide, for example, trisaccharide such as maltotriose and raffinose, tetrasaccharide such as stachyose are used, and among them, trisaccharide is preferable.

[0071] As the derivatives of the monosaccharide, disaccharides and oligosaccharide mentioned above, for example, glucosamine, galactosamine, glucuronic acid, galacturonic acid and the like are used.

[0072] As the above amino acids, any one can be used as long as it is L-form. For example, glycine, leucine, arginine and the like are exemplified. Among them, L-arginine is preferable.

[0073] These osmo-regulators may be used alone or with a mixture.

[0074] These osmo-regulators are used at a concentration that makes the osmotic pressure of outer water phase about 1/50 to about 5 times, preferably about 1/25 to about 3 times of the osmotic pressure of a physiological saline. When mannitol is used as the osmo-regulator, the concentration is preferably 0.5 to 1.5%.

[0075] As the method for removing the first and second solvents (including a third solvent, when third solvent is added to the first solvent; the same is applied hereinafter), a method known per se or analogous method thereto is used. The examples of the method include a method for evaporating an organic solvent under ambient pressure or with gradually reducing pressure with stirring by a propeller type stirrer, magnetic stirrer or the like, and a method for evaporating an organic solvent with regulating vacuum using rotary evaporator, and the like. Especially, an in-water drying method wherein the solvent is removed with stirring under ambient pressure is preferable.

[0076] In the sustained-release preparation of the present invention, the control temperature of the emulsification process in which the first and second solvents are removed may be adjusted in order to idealize the blood drug concentration of a maintenance part in one month or later after the administration to patients, and stably and sustainably release the water-soluble physiologically active peptide as an active ingredient.

[0077] The control temperature of the emulsification process in which the first and second solvents are removed is adjusted to 15 to 35°C, preferably about 15 to 30°C. In this case, the method for controlling temperature includes a method of adjusting the above O/W emulsion to the above temperature, and a method of preparing an emulsion by mixing the third and fourth solutions adjusted to the above temperature, as well as a method of placing all processes of the emulsification process in an environment set at the control temperature.

[0078] The microcapsule thus obtained is collected by centrifugation or filtration, and then washed repeatedly with distilled water several times to remove the free physiologically active substance, emulsifier and the like which are adhered to the surface of microcapsule, and then the microcapsule is re-dispersed into distilled water before lyophilized.

[0079] During the preparation process, an agglutination inhibitor may be added to prevent agglutination of the particles. The agglutination inhibitor includes, for example, a water-soluble polysaccharide such as mannitol, lactose, glucose, and starches (e.g., corn starch), amino acids such as glycine, and proteins such as fibrin and collagen. Among them, mannitol is suitable.

[0080] The additive amount of the agglutination inhibitor such as mannitol is generally 0 to about 24% by weight to the whole microcapsule.

[0081] In addition, after lyophilization, where necessary, the microcapsules may be heated under reduced pressure and the condition of not causing a mutual fusion of microcapsules, to remove water and the organic solvents in microcapsules. It is preferable to heat at a temperature around or slightly higher than the intermediate point glass transition temperature of biodegradable polymer determined by a differential scanning calorimeter under the conditions of temperature increasing speed of 10 to 20°C per minute. It is more preferable to heat at a temperature around the intermediate point glass transition temperature of biodegradable polymer or within the range of temperature higher by about 30°C than the intermediate point glass transition temperature. Especially, when a lactic acid-glycolic acid polymer is used as a biodegradable polymer, heating is conducted preferably at temperatures lying within the range from around the intermediate point glass transition temperature to a temperature higher than the intermediate point glass transition temperature by 10°C, further preferably at temperatures lying within the range from around the intermediate point glass transition temperature to a temperature higher than the intermediate point glass transition temperature by 5°C.

[0082] Although the heating time may vary depending on the amount of microcapsules and the like, it is generally about 12 hours to 168 hours, preferably about 24 hours to 120 hours, especially preferably about 48 hours to 96 hours after the microcapsule itself reached the predetermined temperature.

[0083] The heating method is not especially limited as long as a set of microcapsules can be uniformly heated.

[0084] As the heat-drying method, for example, a method of heat-drying in thermostat bath, fluidized bath, moving bath or kiln, and a method of heat-drying by microwave. Among them, the method of heat-drying in thermostat bath is preferable.

[0085] In the production of the sustained-release preparation containing stearic acid of the present invention, the process comprises adding stearic acid to the first solution that is a polymer solution and/or the second solution that is a physiologically active peptide solution or the third solution that is a mixed solution thereof.

[0086] A method for preparing the sustained-release preparation containing stearic acid of the present invention is exemplified below.

[0087] In the method, first, the lactic acid polymer of the present invention or a salt thereof is dissolved in a volatile and water-immiscible first solvent to prepare a first solution. In the solvent used as the above first solvent, preferably the boiling point is 100°C or lower.

[0088] The first solvent includes, for example, halogenated hydrocarbons (e.g., dichloromethane, chloroform, dichloroethane, trichloroethane, carbon tetrachloride, and the like), ethers (e.g., ethyl ether, isopropyl ether, and the like), fatty esters (e.g., ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, and the like), aromatic hydrocarbons (e.g., benzene, toluene, xylene, and the like). Among them, halogenated hydrocarbons are preferable, and especially dichloromethane is suitable. They may be mixed to use at an appropriate ratio.

[0089] The concentration of the biodegradable polymer of the present invention in the organic solvent solution may vary depending on the molecular weight of the biodegradable polymer of the present invention and the kind of organic solvent, and for example, when dichloromethane is used as an organic solvent, the concentration is selected generally from about 0.5 to about 70% by weight, more preferably about 1 to about 60% by weight, especially preferably about 33 to about 45% by weight.

[0090] When the stearic acid is added to the first solution that is a polymer solution, the stearic acid is added to the first solvent after the biodegradable polymer is dissolved into the first solvent or when the biodegradable polymer is dissolved into the first solvent. At this time, if the stearic acid is dissolved when the third solution described below is prepared, the stearic acid does not need to be completely dissolved at this step, but a solubilizing agent can be used to dissolve the stearic acid as appropriate. The solubilizing agent is not especially limited as long as it can be used as the first solvent or as the second solvent that is a solvent for a physiologically active peptide, and lower alcohols to be used as the second solvent are preferred, and methanol and ethanol are particularly preferred. In addition, it may be heated to dissolve the stearic acid.

[0091] Then, the physiologically active substance comprised of a water-soluble physiologically active peptide is dissolved in a water-miscible second solvent to prepare a second solution. The solvent used as above second solvent is miscible with water at a constant rate, and the boiling point is preferably 100°C or lower.

[0092] As the second solvent, for example, lower alcohols (e.g., methanol, ethanol, propanol, and the like), acetonitrile, acetone, tetrahydrofuran, and the like are used. Among them, lower alcohols are preferable, and especially methanol or ethanol is suitable. Further, they may be mixed to use at an appropriate ratio.

[0093] In addition, as a solvent for dissolving the lactic acid polymer or a salt thereof in the preparation of the first solution, in addition to the use of the first solvent, further a water-miscible third solvent can be added thereto. In this case, the third solvent may be selected from the same solvents as the second solvents.

[0094] When the stearic acid is added to the second solution which is a solution of physiologically active peptide, the stearic acid is added to the second solvent after the physiologically active peptide is dissolved in the second solvent or when the physiologically active peptide is dissolved in the second solvent. At this time, if the stearic acid is dissolved when the third solution described below is prepared, the stearic acid does not need to be completely dissolved at this step, but a solubilizing agent can be used to dissolve the stearic acid as appropriate. The solubilizing agent is not limited as long as it can be used as the first solvent or as the second solvent. In addition, it may be heated to dissolve the stearic acid.

[0095] Subsequently, the obtained first and second solutions are mixed to prepare the third solution. It is desirable that the third solution obtained here a solution wherein the lactic acid polymer or a salt thereof and the physiologically active substances are uniformly dissolved, and additionally, in the next step, the lactic acid polymer or a salt thereof and the physiologically active substance are not deposited during the process of removing the solvent from the solution. Further, when stearic acid is added, it is desirable that the stearic acid is uniformly dissolved, and further in the next step, it is not precipitated.

[0096] In this case, the physiologically active substance is to be added so that the physiologically active substance is contained with the amount of 15 to 35 (weight/weight) % to the whole microcapsule (a content of the physiologically active substance in microcapsule). Therefore, the loading amount of drug as a physiologically active substance is about 17 to about 50 % by weight, preferably about 18 to about 43 % by weight, more preferably about 19 to about 38 % by weight, further more preferably about 19 to about 25 % by weight, most preferably about 20 to about 22% by weight. A loading amount is a calculated rate of the added amount of the physiologically active substance to the total additive amount of each component comprising microcapsule in the preparation. The entrapment ratio of drug such as physiologically active substance is about 75 % by weight or more, preferably about 80 % by weight or more, more preferably about 82 % by weight or more, further more preferably about 85 % by weight or more, most preferably about 89% by weight or more. Herein, the entrapment ratio is a calculated rate of the drug incorporated into microcapsule to the additive amount of the physiologically active substance.

[0097] The volume ratio of the above water-immiscible solvent and water-miscible solvent (including the third solvent when the third solvent is added to the first solvent) to be used in the step of preparing the third solution is generally 35:65 to 55:45.

[0098] When stearic acid is added to the third solution which is a solution of physiologically active peptide, the stearic acid is added to the third solution when the first and second solutions are mixed or after the first and second solutions are mixed. At this time, a solubilizing agent can be used to dissolve the stearic acid as appropriate. The solubilizing agent is not limited as long as it can be used as the first solvent or as the second solvent, and lower alcohols used as the second solvent are preferred, and methanol and ethanol are particularly preferred. In addition, the solvent may be heated to dissolve the stearic acid.

[0099] As mentioned above, the stearic acid can be added at any step in the process for preparing the first solution and/or the second solution or for preparing the third solution that is a mixed solution thereof. The timing of the addition of the stearic acid is not limited as long as the stearic acid is dissolved in an oil phase at the time when the third solution is emulsified into the fourth solution to form an emulsion, and it is determined depending on the kind of the stearic acid and the kind of the solvent used in each step because the solvent to dissolve may vary depending on the kind of the stearic acid. The stearic acid is preferably added to a solvent having a high-solubility of the stearic acid used because if the stearic acid is added to a solvent having a low-solubility, a solubilizing agent may be needed, and there is a possibility that a ratio of the first and second solvents is influenced. It is preferable to add the stearic acid to the second solvent and heat to dissolve together the physiologically active peptide.

[0100] Then, the resultant third solution is dispersed into a fourth solution comprised of an aqueous solution of an emulsifier to prepare the O (oil phase)/W (water phase) emulsion, and microcapsule is prepared by removing the above-mentioned first solvent and second solvent. When a third solvent is added to the first solvent or a solubilizing agent is used to dissolve the fatty acid, the third solvent or the solubilizing agent is simultaneously removed at this step. In this step, the water phase volume is generally selected from about 1 to about 10,000 times, more preferably about 5 to about 5,000 times, especially preferably about 10 to about 2,000 times of an oil phase volume.

[0101] For the emulsifier contained in the above water phase, the same emulsifier as those exemplified in the above sustained-release preparation not containing the fatty acid can be used.

[0102] In addition, an osmo-regulator may be added to the above water phase. The osmo-regulator may be any osmo-regulator which shows an osmotic pressure in the water solution thereof, and the same osmo-regulator as those exemplified in the above sustained-release preparation not containing the stearic acid can be used.

[0103] As a method for removing the first and second solvent (including a third solvent or a solubilizing agent, when third solvent is added to the first solvent or solubilizing agent is used to dissolve the stearic acid; the same is applied hereinafter), a method known per se or an analogous method thereto is used. For example, an example of the method includes a method of evaporating organic solvent under ambient pressure or with gradually reducing pressure as stirring using a propeller type stirrer or a magnetic stirrer, or a method of evaporating organic solvent by regulating vacuum degree with rotary evaporator. In particular, an in-water drying method wherein a solvent is removed with stirring under ambient pressure is preferable.

[0104] The control temperature of the emulsification process in which the first and second solvents are removed is adjusted to 15 to 35°C. In this case, a method for controlling temperature includes a method of adjusting the above O/W emulsion to the above temperature, and a method of preparing an emulsion by mixing the third and fourth solutions adjusted to the above temperature, as well as a method of placing all processes of the emulsification process in an environment set at the control temperature.

[0105] The microcapsule thus obtained is collected by centrifugation or filtration, and then washed repeatedly with distilled water several times to remove the free physiologically active substance, emulsifier and the like which is adhered to the surface of the microcapsule, and then the microcapsule is re-dispersed into distilled water before lyophilized.

[0106] During the preparation process, an agglutination inhibitor may be added to prevent agglutination of the particles. The agglutination inhibitor includes, for example, a water-soluble polysaccharides such as mannitol, lactose, glucose, and starches (e.g., corn starch), amino acids such as glycine, and proteins such as fibrin and collagen. Among them, mannitol is suitable.

[0107] The additive amount of the agglutination inhibitor such as mannitol is generally 0 to about 24% by weight to the whole microcapsule.

[0108] In addition, after lyophilization, where appropriate, the microcapsules may be heated under reduced pressure and the condition of not causing a mutual fusion of microcapsules, to remove water and the organic solvents in microcapsules. It is preferable to heating at a temperature around or slightly higher than the intermediate point glass transition temperature of biodegradable polymer determined by a differential scanning calorimeter under the condition of temperature increasing speed of 10 to 20°C per minute. It is more preferable to heat at a temperature around the intermediate point glass transition temperature of biodegradable polymer or within the range of temperature higher by about 30°C than the intermediate point glass transition temperature. Especially, when a lactic acid-glycolic acid polymer is used as a biodegradable polymer, heating is conducted preferably at temperatures lying within the range from around the intermediate point glass transition temperature to a temperature higher than the intermediate point glass transition temperature by 10°C, further more preferably at temperatures lying within the range from around the intermediate point glass transition temperature to a temperature higher than the intermediate point glass transition temperature by 5°C.

[0109] Although the heating time may vary depending on the amount of microcapsule, it is generally about 12 hours to 168 hours, preferably about 24 hours to 120 hours, especially preferably about 48 hours to 96 hours after the microcapsule itself reached the predetermined temperature.

[0110] The heating method is not especially limited as long as a set of microcapsules can be uniformly heated.

[0111] As the heat-drying method, for example, a method of heat-drying in thermostat bath, fluidized bath, moving bath, or kiln, and a method of heat-drying by microwave. Among them, the method of heat-drying in thermostat bath is preferable.

[0112] The sustained-release preparation of the present invention obtained by the above preparation methods is obtained as a preparation in which the physiologically active substance comprised of a water-soluble physiologically active peptide is substantially uniformly dispersed in a microcapsule comprised of a lactic acid polymer or a salt thereof. Herein, the "substantially uniformly dispersed" means that a water-soluble physiologically active peptide is substantially uniformly dispersed in the biodegradable polymer. For example, it includes, but not limited to, a microcapsule hardened by removing organic solvent using in-water drying method from a microcapsule generated by subjecting to an emulsification process with the state that the physiologically active peptide and the biodegradable polymer are fully dissolved in the organic solvent. Thereby, the suppression of initial excessive release of the physiologically active peptide after administration and a stable drug release in onset part can be achieved, additionally a sustained-release of a physiologically active substance can also be achieved at drug levels in the effective blood concentration for a period from about 60 to 400 days after the administration.

[0113] As the sustained-release preparation of the present invention obtained by the above preparing method contains 15 to 35 (weight/weight)% of a water-soluble physiologically active peptide per unit weight of the preparation, the content of the physiologically active substance in the preparation is higher contained than the conventional preparation. As the result, the rate of content of the physiologically active peptide per unit volume of a microcapsule can be elevated to 15 to 35 (weight/weight)%, the volume or weight of the whole sustained-release preparation needed per unit dose of an effective ingredient can be reduced. Thereby, a physical burden of patients such as pain at administration and induration after administration which is considered as the result of the administration of a preparation having large unit volume can be reduced.

[0114] The sustained-release composition of the present invention is in the form of microcapsules.

[0115] The sustained release composition of the present invention can be administered as itself or formulated as a starting material into any of various dosage forms such as an intramuscular, subcutaneous or organ injection or implantation formulation, a nasal, rectal and intrauterine mucosal formulation, an oral formulation (e.g., a solid dosage form such as capsule (e.g., hard capsule and soft capsule, and the like), granule and powder, or a liquid formulation such as a syrup, an emulsion, a suspension, and the like) and the like.

[0116] For example, when the sustained-release composition of the present invention is formulated into an injection formulation, it can be formulated into an aqueous suspension together with a dispersing agent (e.g., surfactant such as Tween 80 and HCO-60, polysaccharide such as sodium hyaluronate, carboxymethyl cellulose, sodium arginate, and the like), a preservative (e.g., methylparaben, propylparaben, and the like), an isotonic agent (e.g., sodium chloride, mannitol, sorbitol, glucose, proline, and the like), or into an oil suspension by dispersing together with a vegetable, oil such as sesame oil and corn oil to obtain a practically utilizable sustained release injection formulation.

[0117] When the sustained-release preparation of the present invention is dispersed into a dispersion medium then administered as an aqueous suspension, it has excellent easy dispersibility against the dispersion medium and is stable for a period of 24 hours or more after dispersing. Thereby, an operativity related with preparing at administration on medical site can be better.

[0118] A particulate diameter of the sustained-release composition of the present invention, when used as a suspending injection formulation, is any diameter within range satisfying the dispersibility and needle permeability, for example, a mean particulate diameter is about 0.1 to 300 µm, preferably about 0.5 to 150 µm, more preferably about 1 to 100 µm.

[0119] A method of making the sustained-release composition of the present invention to a sterile preparation includes, but not limited to, a method of making all preparing process to be sterile, a method of sterilizing by gamma-ray, and a method of adding an antiseptic agent.

[0120] The sustained-release composition of the present invention is low toxicity, thus it can be used in a mammal (e.g., human, cattle, pig, dog, cat, mouse, rat, and rabbit, ant the like) as a safe medicine.

[0121] While a dose of the sustained-release composition of the present invention may vary depending on the type and content of a physiologically active substance as a main ingredient, the dosage form, the duration of the release of a physiologically active substance, the target disease, and the target animal, it may be an effective amount of the physiologically active substance. A single dose of the physiologically active substance as a main ingredient, for example when the sustained release preparation is a 6-month preparation, can be appropriately selected from preferably about 0.01 to 10 mg/kg weight per an adult, more preferably about 0.05 to 5 mg/kg weight per an adult.

[0122] The single dose of the sustained-release composition can be appropriately selected from preferably a range from about 0.05 to 50 mg/kg weight pre an adult, more preferably a range from about 0.1 to 30 mg/kg weight pre an adult.

[0123] A frequency of administration can be appropriately selected depending on the type and content of a physiologically active substance as a main ingredient, the dosage form, the duration of the release of a physiologically active substance, the target disease, and the target animal, such as once per several weeks, once a month, once per several months (e.g., 3, 4, or 6 months, and the like).

[0124] The sustained-release preparation of the present invention can suppress an excessive release of the water-soluble physiologically active peptide within 1 day after the administration, and stabilize the blood drug concentration in patient body over the long-term by the stable release of the drug in an onset part for a period from 1 day to about 1 month after the administration. As a result, the release of the physiologically active substance can be maintained at the effective blood drug concentration for a period from about 60 to 400 days after the administration.

[0125] That is, when the sustained-release preparation of the present invention is administered, for example applying to an experimental animal such as rat and the like, the ratio of a maximum blood concentration of the active ingredients within 24 hours after the administration to the average blood concentration of the active ingredients from 24 hours to 1 month after the administration is 2 to 90, and the ratio of the maximum blood concentration of active ingredients within 24 hours after the administration to the average blood concentration of the active ingredients from 1 month after the administration to the sustained-release period the preparation predetermines is 20 to 500. Area under the blood concentration-time curve (AUC) of the active ingredient within 24 hours after the administration calculated from the blood concentration is 1 to 30% of the total AUC, and AUC of the active ingredient from 24 hours to 1 month after the administration calculated from the blood concentration is 10 to 80% of the total AUC, and AUC of the active ingredient from 1 month after the administration to the sustained-release period the preparation predetermines is 10 to 90% of the total AUC.

[0126] When the sustained-release preparation of the present invention using a lactic acid polymer which the weight-average molecular weight (Mw) is 19,000 to 27,000 is administered to a patient, the release of the physiologically active substance from the sustained-release composition in vivo can be maintained at the effective blood drug concentration for a period from about 120 to 400 days. In this case, for example, as applying to an experimental animal such as rat and the like, the ratio of the maximum blood concentration of the active ingredients within 24 hours after the administration to the average blood concentration of the active ingredients from 24 hours to 1 month after the administration is 10 to 90, and the ratio of the maximum blood concentration of the active ingredients within 24 hours after the administration to the average blood concentration of the active ingredients from 1 month to 6 months after the administration is 20 to 500. AUC of the active ingredient within 24 hours after the administration calculated from the blood concentration is 1 to 20% of the total AUC, and AUC of the active ingredient from 24 hours to 1 month after the administration calculated from the blood concentration is 10 to 50% of the total AUC, and AUC of the active ingredient from 1 month to 6 months after the administration is 40 to 90% of the total AUC.

[0127] A release property of a drug in the sustained-release composition of the present invention is influenced by a loading amount of the drug on preparing, additives such as stearic acid, several above described conditions such as other preparing conditions or a formulation. Therefore, an ideal blood concentration pattern corresponding to the intended sustained-release period can be selected by regulating them as appropriate. Particularly, the regulation of the loading amount of a drug in preparing or the additives such as stearic acid enable a control of a release rate on onset part (from 24 hours to 1 month after administration) and thus a sustained-release preparation showing an ideal blood concentration pattern can be prepared.

[0128] While a sustained-release composition of the present invention can be for use as a prophylactic/therapeutic agent against various diseases depending on the type of the physiologically active substance contained therein, for example, when the physiologically active substance is an LH-RH derivative, it can be for use as a prophylactic/therapeutic agent against a hormone-dependent disease, especially a sex hormone dependent disease such as a sex hormone dependent cancer (e.g., prostate cancer, uterine cancer, breast cancer, and pituitary tumor, etc.), prostatic hyperplasia, endometriosis, uterine fibroid, precocious puberty, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, and multilocular ovarian syndrome, a prophylactic agent against premenopausal breast cancer postoperative recurrence, a prophylactic/therapeutic agent against a disease such as Alzheimer disease or immunodeficiency, and a contraceptive agent (or when a rebound effect after the drug withdrawal is used, a prophylactic/therapeutic agent against a infertility) and the like. In addition, it can be for use as a prophylactic/therapeutic agent against a benign or malignant tumor which is sex hormone independent but is LH-RH sensitive.

[0129] Therefore, an administration of an effective dose of the present therapeutic/prophylactic agent to mammals can be for use in preventing/treating a sex hormone dependent diseases such as a hormone dependent disease, especially sex hormone dependent cancer (e.g., prostate cancer, uterine cancer, breast cancer, and pituitary tumor, etc.), prostatic hyperplasia, endometriosis, uterine fibroid, precocious puberty, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, and multilocular ovarian syndrome and the like, and can prevent conception, furthermore can prevent a premenopausal breast cancer postoperative recurrence.

[0130] The present invention is further described with referring to the following Examples and Comparative Examples, which are not intended to restrict the invention.

Examples



[0131] The weight-average molecular weight and the content of each polymer in the following Examples and Comparative Examples are a polystyrene-reduced weight-average molecular weight measured by gel-permeation chromatography (GPC) using a monodispersed polystyrene as a reference substance and a content of each polymer calculated from them. All measurements are performed with a high-speed GPC apparatus (HLC-8120GPC; Tosoh Corporation), using SuperH4000 x 2 and SuperH2000 (both Tosoh Corporation) as a column, and tetrahydrofuran as a mobile phase at a flow rate of 0.6 mL/min. The detection is conducted based on the differential refractive index.

[0132] A measuring method of a blood drug level includes the following methods. For leuprorelin acetate, for example, leuprorelin acetate and 125I-labeled leuprorelin acetate in a serum sample are competitively reacted with a rabbit anti-leuprorelin acetate serum. A goat anti-rabbit γ-globulin serum solution as a second antibody and a normal rabbit serum solution are added to the produced conjugate and reacted, and centrifuged followed by measuring a radioactivity of the precipitate. Leuprorelin acetate concentration in the serum sample is obtained from a calibration curve produced at the same time.

[0133] In addition, "leuprorelin acetate" is referred to as "TAP-144" in the Figures.

Example 1 (Reference)



[0134] A solution of 3.83 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 14,300) in 6.4 g of dichloromethane was added to a solution prepared by adding 4.56 g of methanol to 0.96 g of freeze-dried powder of leuprorelin acetate, dissolving the powder with warming at about 50°C and then cooling to room temperature (25°C), and dispersed to prepare the oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 20%. After the O phase was cooled to about 15°C, the solution was poured into 0.8 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 15°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected using a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 2,500 rpm). The collected microcapsules were re-dispersed in distilled water. The microcapsules were precipitated and collected by repeating the same centrifuge operation, and then re-dispersed in a small amount of water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask together with 0.507 g of mannitol and frozen, then freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the mixed powder of the leuprorelin-containing microcapsules and mannitol (hereinafter referred to as "microcapsule powder").

[0135] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 15.3%, and the yield was about 63%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 18.0%. The term "the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule" as referred herein means a calculated rate in which the value calculated by multiplying the total of the charged weight of each raw material (leuprorelin acetate, lactic acid polymer and mannitol) by the yield (hereinafter referred to as "obtained amount"), followed by multiplying by "the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule powder" is divided by the value calculated by subtracting the amount of mannitol from the obtained amount, that is, it means the value calculated by the following formula:

wherein, [Total (g) of the charged weight of each raw material]x[Yield (%)]=[Obtained amount (g)],
and corresponds to the content of leuprorelin acetate as the physiologically active substance to the whole microcapsule (the same is applied hereinafter).

Example 2 (Reference)



[0136] The microcapsule powder was obtained in the same manner as Example 1 excepting that the temperature after the oil phase (O phase) was prepared and the temperature of 0.1% (w/w) aqueous solution of polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) were adjusted to about 20°C.

[0137] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 15.1%, and the yield was about 64%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 17.8%.

Example 3 (Reference)



[0138] The microcapsule powder was obtained in the same manner as Example 1 excepting that the temperature after the oil phase (O phase) was prepared and the temperature of 0.1% (w/w) aqueous solution of polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) were adjusted to about 25°C.

[0139] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 14.3%, and the yield was about 64%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 16.8%.

Example 4 (Reference)



[0140] The microcapsule powder was obtained in the same manner as Example 1 excepting that the temperature after the oil phase (O phase) was prepared and the temperature of 0.1% (w/w) aqueous solution of polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) were adjusted to about 30°C.

[0141] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 13.4%, and the yield was about 67%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 15.6%.

Example 5 (Reference)



[0142] A solution of 119.5 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 14,100) in 200 g of dichloromethane was adjusted to 30 °C, and this solution was added to a solution which 142.5 g of methanol was added to 30.0 g of leuprorelin acetate, dissolved with warming at about 40°C and then cooled to room temperature (25°C), and said mixture was dispersed to prepare the oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 20%. Then, after the O phase was cooled to about 15°C, the solution was poured into 25 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 15°C, and was emulsified with HOMOMIC LINE FLOW (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm, and circulating pump rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm.). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were continuously precipitated with a centrifuge (H-600S; Kokusan Enshinki; rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm, and flow rate: about 600 ml/min) and collected. The collected microcapsules were re-dispersed in a small amount of distilled water, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 90 µm, then, 21.1 g of mannitol was added and freeze-dried with freeze drier (DFM-05A-S, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder. The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 14%, and the yield was about 55%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 18.1%.

Example 6 (Reference)



[0143] A solution of 119.5 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (the weight-average molecular weight: 14,100) in 200 g of dichloromethane was adjusted to 30 °C, and this solution was added into a solution which 142.5 g of methanol was added to 30.0 g of leuprorelin acetate, dissolved with warming at about 40°C and then cooled to room temperature (25°C), and said mixture was dispersed to prepare the oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 20%. Then, after the O phase was cooled to about 20°C, the solution was poured into 25 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 20°C, and was emulsified with HOMOMIC LINE FLOW (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm, and circulating pump rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm.). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were continuously precipitated with a centrifuge (H-600S; Kokusan Enshinki; rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm, and the flow rate: about 600 ml/min) and collected. The collected microcapsules were re-dispersed in a small amount of distilled water, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 95 µm, then, 17.2 g of mannitol was added and freeze-dried with freeze drier (DFM-05A-S, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder. The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 16.0%, and the yield was about 76%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 18.5%.

Comparative Example 1



[0144] To 0.87 g of leuprorelin acetate, 1 g of distilled water was added to dissolve. To this solution was added a solution of 7.65 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 13,900) in 12.8 g of dichloromethane, and lightly dispersed by the hand, then primarily emulsified with Polytron (Kinematica) for about 30 seconds to prepare the W/O emulsion (rotation frequency: about 1,000 rpm). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 10%. Then, after this W/O emulsion was cooled to about 15°C, the solution was poured into 1.6 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 15°C, and secondarily emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the W/O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This W/O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected using a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 2,500 rpm). The collected microcapsules were re-dispersed in a small amount of distilled water, added 0.9 g of mannitol and freeze-dried with freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0145] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 7.7%, and the yield was about 62%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 9.1%.

Comparative Example 2



[0146] A solution of 3.83 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 13,900) in 6.4 g of dichloromethane was added to a solution which 7.79 g of methanol was added to 1.64 g of the freeze-dried powder of leuprorelin acetate, dissolved with warming at about 50°C and then cooled to room temperature (25°C), and said mixture was dispersed to prepare the oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 30%. Then, the O phase was poured into 0.8 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 15°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 2,500 rpm). The collected microcapsules were re-dispersed in distilled water. The microcapsules were precipitated and collected by repeating the same centrifuge operation to collect them, and then re-dispersed in a small amount of water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask together with 0.578 g of mannitol and frozen, then freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0147] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 16.8%, and the yield was about 74%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 19.3%.

Comparative Example 3



[0148] A solution of 3.83 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 14,300) in 6.4 g of dichloromethane was added into a solution prepared by adding 9.80 g of methanol to 2.06 g of the freeze-dried powder of leuprorelin acetate, dissolving the powder with warming at about 50°C and cooling to room temperature (25°C), and dispersed to prepare the oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 35%. Then, the O phase was poured into 0.8 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 15°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected using a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 2,500 rpm). The collected microcapsules were re-dispersed into distilled water. The microcapsules were precipitated by the centrifuge operation to collect them, and then re-dispersed into a small amount of water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask together with 0.623 g of mannitol and frozen, then freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0149] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 15.0%, and the yield was about 73%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 17.3%.

Experiment Example 1



[0150] Each 29 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 1 or 34 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Comparative Example 1 was suspended in about 0.4 mL of dispersal vehicle, and subcutaneously administered to a rat (4.5 mg dose calculated as leuprorelin acetate), then the leuprorelin acetate concentration in the serum was measured. The transition of blood concentration within 24 hours and up to 13 weeks after the administration is shown in Fig. 1. The calculated results of the maximum concentration (Cmax) and area under the blood concentration-time curve (AUC) within 24 hours after the administration and AUC (of onset part) from 24 hours to one month after the administration are shown in Table 1. As shown in Fig. 1 and Table 1, Cmax and AUC within 24 hours after the administration in Example 1 are lower, and the blood concentration and AUC of onset part are higher than those in Comparative Example 1. That is, a preparation using the O/W method can provide the suppression of the excessive drug release within 24 hours after the administration, and result in the great improvement of the transition of blood concentration on onset part.
Table 1
 Within 24 hours after the administrationFrom 24 hours to one month after the administration
CmaxAUCAUC
[ng/mL][ng week/mL][ng week/mL]
Example 1 115.5 4.0 23.1
Comparative Example 1 211.9 5.1 3.2

Experiment Example 2



[0151] Each entrapment ratio of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule powders prepared in Example 1, Comparative Example 2, or Comparative Example 3 was calculated. The results are shown in Table 2. The term "a entrapment ratio of leuprorelin acetate" as herein referred means a rate calculated by dividing "a content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule" by "a loading amount of leuprorelin acetate". As shown in Table 2, the entrapment ratio was greatly reduced in the Comparative Examples wherein the loading amount was 30% or more.
Table 2
 Example 1Comparative Example 2Comparative Example 3
loading amount of leuprorelin acetate [%] 20 30 35
entrapment ratio of leuprorelin acetate [%] 90.0 64.3 49.4

Experiment Example 3



[0152] Each 29 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 1, 30 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 2, 32 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 3, or 34 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 4 was suspended in about 0.4 mL of the dispersal vehicle, and subcutaneously administered to a rat (4.5 mg dose calculated as leuprorelin acetate), then the leuprorelin acetate concentration in the serum was measured. The transition of blood concentration within 24 hours and up to 13 weeks after the administration is shown in Fig. 2. The result of the relationship between the emulsification temperature and Cmax within 24 hours after the administration is shown in Fig. 3, the result of the relationship between the emulsification temperature and AUC within 24 hours after the administration is shown in Fig. 4, and the result of the relationship between the emulsification temperature and AUC of the maintenance part (4 weeks or later after the administration) is shown in Fig. 5. As shown in Figs. 2, 3, and 4, Cmax and AUC within 24 hours after the administration was reduced depending on the emulsification temperature. That is, the raise the emulsification temperature can provide the suppression of initial excessive drug release after administration. Further, as shown in Figs. 2 and 5, the blood concentration level and AUC of the maintenance part were increased depending on the emulsification temperature. That is, the raise the emulsification temperature can provide the improvement of the transition of blood concentration on the maintenance part.

Experiment Example 4



[0153] Each 32 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 5 or 28 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 6 was suspended in about 0.4 mL of the dispersal vehicle, and subcutaneously administered to a rat (4.5 mg dose calculated as leuprorelin acetate), then the leuprorelin acetate concentration in the serum was measured. The transition of blood concentration up to 13 weeks after the administration is shown in Fig. 6. The result of the relationship between the emulsification temperature and Cmax within 24 hours after the administration is shown in Fig. 3, the result of the relationship between the emulsification temperature and AUC within 24 hours after the administration is shown in Fig. 4, and the result of the relationship between the emulsification temperature and AUC of the maintenance part (4 weeks or later after the administration) is shown in Fig. 5. As shown in Figs. 3, 4, and 6, Cmax and AUC within 24 hours after the administration was reduced depending on the emulsification temperature. That is, the raise the emulsification temperature can provide the initial excessive drug release after the administration. Further, as shown in Figs. 5 and 6, the blood concentration level and AUC of the maintenance part was increased depending on the emulsification temperature. That is, the raise the emulsification temperature can provide the improvement of the blood concentration transition on the maintenance part.

Experiment Example 5



[0154] Each microcapsule powder (45 mg calculated as leuprorelin acetate) prepared in Example 6 or Comparative Example 1 and the dispersing solvent (1 mL volume) was mixed, and lightly dispersed by the hand to homogeneously disperse. The time from the mixing was initiated until the mixture was uniformly dispersed was measured, respectively. The result is shown in Fig. 7. The mixture of Example 6 was dispersed in a shorter time than that of Comparative Example 1.

Comparative Example 4



[0155] To 2.4 g of leuprorelin acetate, 11.4 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 9.6 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,700) in 16.8 g of dichloromethane was added, and dispersed to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 20%. Then, the O phase was poured into 2 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, the mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 1.27 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0156] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 15.3%, and the yield was about 65%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 17.9%. The term "the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule" as referred herein means a calculated rate in which the value calculated by multiplying the total of the charged weight of each raw material (leuprorelin acetate, lactic acid polymer and mannitol) by the yield (hereinafter referred to as "obtained amount"), followed by multiplying by "the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule powder" is divided by the value calculated by subtracting the amount of mannitol from the obtained amount, and corresponds to the content of leuprorelin acetate as the physiologically active substance to the whole microcapsule (same is applied hereinafter).

Comparative Example 5



[0157] To 1.2 g of leuprorelin acetate, 5.7 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.8 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 26,100) in 8.4 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 19%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). The O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, said mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0158] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 14.7%, and the yield was about 54%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 17.9%.

Comparative Example 6



[0159] To 1.35 g of leuprorelin acetate, 6.41 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.65 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,700) in 8.14 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 22.5%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare a O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). The O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then the mixture was centrifuged again to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added thereto, and the mixture was dispersed in a small amount of distilled water. The dispersion was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0160] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 16.8%, and the yield was about 55%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 20.3%.

Example 7



[0161] To 1.14 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.269 g of stearic acid, 5.7 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.53 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,700) in 7.93 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 19%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, said mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0162] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 15.4%, and the yield was about 57%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 18.5%. The term "the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule" as herein referred means a calculated rate in which the value calculated by multiplying the total of the charged weight of each raw material (leuprorelin acetate, lactic acid polymer, stearic acid and mannitol) by the yield (hereinafter referred to as "obtained amount"), followed by multiplying by "the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule powder" is divided by the value calculated by subtracting the amount of mannitol from the obtained amount, and corresponds to the content of leuprorelin acetate as the physiologically active substance to the whole microcapsule (the same is applied hereinafter).

Example 8



[0163] To 1.14 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.269 g of stearic acid, 5.7 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.53 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 26,100) in 7.93 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 19%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then said mixture was recentrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0164] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 14.7%, and the yield was about 56%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 17.8%.

Example 9



[0165] To 1.29 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.3025 g of stearic acid, 6.413 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.347 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,700) in 7.608 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase) . At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 21.7%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, said mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0166] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 17.1%, and the yield was about 58%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 20.5%.

Example 10



[0167] To 1.29 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.3025 g of stearic acid, 6.413 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.347 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 26,100) in 7.608 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 21.7%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, said mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0168] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 15.2%, and the yield was about 59%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 18.2%.

Example 11 (Reference)



[0169] To 1.35 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.079 g of stearic acid (0.25-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate), 6.4 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.57 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,800) in 8.0 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 22.5%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, said mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0170] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 18.1%, and the yield was about 68%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 21.1%.

Example 12



[0171] To 1.35 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.157 g of stearic acid (0.5-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate), 6.4 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.5 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,800) in 7.9 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 22.5%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, the said mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0172] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 17.5%, and the yield was about 56%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 21.1%.

Example 13



[0173] To 1.35 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.315 g of stearic acid (1-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate), 6.4 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.34 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,800) in 7.6 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 22.5%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, said mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0174] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 16.7%, and the yield was about 52%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 20.5%.

Example 14



[0175] To 1.35 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.471 g of stearic acid (1.5-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate), 6.4 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.19 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,800) in 7.34 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 22.5%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, said mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0176] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 17.1%, and the yield was about 73%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 19.7%.

Example 15



[0177] To 1.23 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.287 g of stearic acid (1-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate), 5.8 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.49 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,800) in 7.9 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 20.5%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, said mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0178] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 15.8%, and the yield was about 66%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 18.5%.

Example 16



[0179] To 1.29 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.300 g of stearic acid (1-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate), 6.1 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.42 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,800) in 7.7 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 21.5%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, said mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0180] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 15.9%, and the yield was about 56%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 19.2%.

Example 17



[0181] To 1.41 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.328 g of stearic acid (1-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate), 6.7 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.27 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,800) in 7.5 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 23.5%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, said mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0182] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 17.0%, and the yield was about 71%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 19.6%.

Example 18



[0183] To 1.47 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.342 g of stearic acid (1-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate), 7.0 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 4.20 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,800) in 7.4 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 24.5%. Then, the O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) of polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). Distilled water was added to the microcapsules to wash, then, said mixture was re-centrifuged to precipitate the microcapsules. After the supernatant was removed, 0.635 g of mannitol was added to this mixture to disperse in a small amount of distilled water, and said mixture was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder.

[0184] The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 16.3%, and the yield was about 77%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 18.6%.

Example 19



[0185] To 33.75 g of leuprorelin acetate and 7.56 g of stearic acid (1-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate), 160.33 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 108.68 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,800) in 190.2 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 22.5%. Then, after the O phase was adjusted to about 30°C, the O phase was poured into 25 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a HOMOMIC LINE FLOW (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm, and the circulating pump rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm.). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were continuously precipitated with a centrifuge (H-600S; Kokusan Enshinki; rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm, and the flow rate: about 600 ml/min) and collected. The collected microcapsules were re-dispersed in a small amount of distilled water, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 90 µm, then, 17.2 g of mannitol was added and freeze-dried with freeze drier (DFM-05A-S, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder. The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 18.2%, and the yield was about 80%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 20.9%.

Example 20



[0186] To 30.0 g of leuprorelin acetate and 6.725 g of stearic acid (1-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate), 142.5 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 113.28 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,800) in 198.23 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 20.0%. Then, after the O phase was adjusted to about 30°C, the O phase was poured into 25 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a HOMOMIC LINE FLOW (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm, and the circulating pump rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm.). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were continuously precipitated with a centrifuge (H-600S; Kokusan Enshinki; rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm, and the flow rate: about 600 ml/min) and collected. The collected microcapsules were re-dispersed in a small amount of distilled water, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 90 µm, then, 17.2 g of mannitol was added and freeze-dried with freeze drier (DFM-05A-S, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder. The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 16.6%, and the yield was about 80%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 19.0%.

Example 21



[0187] To 22.68 g of leuprorelin acetate and 5.08 g of stearic acid (1-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate), 107.7 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 80.24 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 26,100) in 140.4 g of dichloromethane was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 21.0%. Then, after the O phase was adjusted to about 30°C, the O phase was poured into 18 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a HOMOMIC LINE FLOW (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm, and the circulating pump rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm.). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were continuously precipitated with a centrifuge (H-600S; Kokusan Enshinki; rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm, and the flow rate: about 600 ml/min) and collected. The collected microcapsules were re-dispersed in a small amount of distilled water, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 90 µm, then, 13.3 g of mannitol was added and freeze-dried with freeze drier (DFM-05A-S, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder. The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 16.5%, and the yield was about 73%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 19.4%.

Example 22



[0188] To 31.5 g of leuprorelin acetate, 130.08 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 111.44 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 26,300) and 7.06 g of stearic acid (1-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate) in the mixture of 195.0 g of dichloromethane and 19.50 g of methanol was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 21.0%. After the O phase was adjusted to about 30°C, the O phase was poured into 25 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a HOMOMIC LINE FLOW (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm, and the circulating pump rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm.). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were continuously precipitated with a centrifuge (H-600S; Kokusan Enshinki; rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm, and the flow rate: about 600 ml/min) and collected. The collected microcapsules were re-dispersed in a small amount of distilled water, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 90 µm, then, 17.2 g of mannitol was added and freeze-dried with freeze drier (DFM-05A-S, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder. The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 17.5%, and the yield was about 78%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 20.2%.

Example 23



[0189] To 33.75 g of leuprorelin acetate, 141.31 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 108.68 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 22,100) and 7.56 g of stearic acid (1-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate) in the mixture of 190.2 g of dichloromethane and 19.02 g of methanol was added, and to blend with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 22.5%. After the O phase was adjusted to about 30°C, the O phase was poured into 25 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a HOMOMIC LINE FLOW (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare the O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm, and the circulating pump rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm.). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were continuously precipitated with a centrifuge (H-600S; Kokusan Enshinki; rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm, and the flow rate: about 600 ml/min) and collected. The collected microcapsules were re-dispersed in a small amount of distilled water, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 90 µm, then, 17.2 g of mannitol was added and freeze-dried with freeze drier (DFM-05A-S, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder. The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 18.4%, and the yield was about 77%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 21.2%.

Example 24



[0190] To 30 g of leuprorelin acetate, 122.68 g of methanol was added to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution, a solution of 113.28 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 22,100) and 6.725 g of stearic acid (1-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate) in the mixture of 198.2 g of dichloromethane and 19.82 g of methanol was added, and mixed with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 20%. After the O phase was adjusted to about 30°C, the O phase was poured into 25 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a HOMOMIC LINE FLOW (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare an O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm, and the circulating pump rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm). This O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were continuously precipitated with a centrifuge (H-600S; Kokusan Enshinki; rotation frequency: about 2,000 rpm, the flow rate: about 600 ml/min) and collected. The collected microcapsules were dispersed again in a small amount of distilled water, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 90 µm. Then, 19.9 g of mannitol was added thereto, and freeze-dried with freeze drier (DFM-05A-S, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder. The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 15.4%, and the yield was about 66%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 18.7%.

Example 25 (Reference)



[0191] To 1.35 g of leuprorelin acetate and 0.907 g of stearic acid (3-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate) was added 6.4 g of methanol to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution was added a solution of 3.74 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,800) in 6.5 g of dichloromethane, and mixed with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 22.5%. This O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare an O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). The O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). To the microcapsules was added distilled water to wash, and was centrifuged again to precipitate. After removing the supernatant, 0.635 g of mannitol was added thereto, and the mixture was dispersed with a small amount of distilled water. The dispersion was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder. The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 9.6%, and the yield was about 44%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 12.2%.

Example 26 (Reference)



[0192] To 1.35 g of leuprorelin acetate and 1.513 g of stearic acid (5-fold mole of leuprorelin acetate) was added 6.4 g of methanol to dissolve with warming at about 40°C, then this solution was adjusted to 30°C. To this solution was added a solution of 3.14 g of DL-lactic acid polymer (weight-average molecular weight: 21,800) in 5.5 g of dichloromethane, and mixed with stirring to prepare a homogeneous oil phase (O phase). At this point, the loading amount of the drug is 22.5%. This O phase was poured into 1 L of an aqueous solution of 0.1% (w/w) polyvinyl alcohol (EG-40, Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.) pre-adjusted to about 18°C, and was emulsified with a homomixer (Tokushu Kika Kogyo Corporation) to prepare an O/W emulsion (turbine rotation frequency: about 7,000 rpm). The O/W emulsion was in-water dried for about 3 hours, and sieved through a sieve having an opening of 75 µm, then, the microcapsules were precipitated and collected with a centrifuge (CR5DL; Hitachi, Ltd.; rotation frequency: about 3,000 rpm). To the microcapsules was added distilled water to wash, and was centrifuged again to precipitate. After removing the supernatant, 0.635 g of mannitol was added thereto, and the mixture was dispersed with a small amount of distilled water. The dispersion was recovered in an eggplant-shaped flask. This dispersion was frozen, and freeze-dried with a freeze drier (DF-01H, ULVAC) to obtain the microcapsule powder. The content of leuprorelin acetate in the obtained microcapsule powder was 5.3%, and the yield was about 53%. From the results, it was found that the content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule was 6.5%.

Experiment Example 6



[0193] Each 59 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Comparative Example 4 or 59 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 7 was suspended in about 0.4 mL of the dispersal vehicle, and subcutaneously administered to a rat (9 mg dose calculated as leuprorelin acetate), then the leuprorelin acetate concentrations in the serum were measured. The transition of blood concentration is shown in Fig. 8. For the period from 1 week to 10 weeks after the administration, the blood concentration level of Example 7 was greatly higher than that of Comparative Example 2. That is, an addition of stearic acid can result in the improvement of the release rate of the drug, and can provide the improvement of the blood concentration levels on onset part (from 24 hours to 1 month after the administration) and maintenance part (1 month or later after the administration).

Experiment Example 7



[0194] Each 61 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Comparative Example 5, 61 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 8, or 59 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 10 was suspended in about 0.4 mL of the dispersal vehicle, and subcutaneously administered to a rat (9 mg dose calculated as leuprorelin acetate), then the leuprorelin acetate concentrations in the serum were measured. The transition of blood concentration is shown in Fig. 9. In the period 4 weeks after the administration, the blood concentration level of Example 8 and Example 10 was greatly higher than that of Comparative Example 3. Additionally, in the hollow-section in second day after the administration observed in Example 8, Example 10 maintained the high level, and showed more favorable blood concentration pattern. That is, a control of an additive amount of stearic acid and a loading dose of the drug can provide the control of the release rate on onset part (from 24 hours to 1 month after the administration) and the achievement of the ideal blood concentration pattern.

Experiment Example 8



[0195] The entrapment ratios of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule powders prepared in Example 15, Example 16, Example 13, Example 17 and Example 18 were calculated, respectively. The results are shown in Table 3. The term "a entrapment ratio of leuprorelin acetate" as herein referred means a rate calculated by dividing "a content of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule" by "a loading amount of leuprorelin acetate". As shown in Table 3, a slightly decreasing tendency of the entrapment ratio was observed after the loading amount exceeded 23.5%.
Table 3
 Example 15Example 16Example 13Example 17Example 18
Mole ratio of added stearic acid to leuprorelin acetate 1 1 1 1 1
Loading amount of leuprorelin acetate [%] 20.5 21.5 22.5 23.5 24.5
entrapment ratio of leuprorelin acetate [%] 90.2 89.3 91.0 83.7 76.1

Experiment Example 9



[0196] The entrapment ratios of leuprorelin acetate in the microcapsule powders prepared in Comparative Example 4, Example 11, Example 12, Example 13, Example 14, Example 25 and Example 26 were calculated, respectively. The results are shown in Table 4. A decreasing tendency of entrapment ratio was observed after the mole ratio of the added stearic acid to leuprorelin acetate exceeded 1.5.
Table 4
 Comparative Example 4Example 11Example 12Example 13Example 14Example 25Example 26
Mole ratio of added stearic acid to leuprorelin acetate 0 0.25 0.5 1.0 1.5 3.0 5.0
Loading amount of leuprorelin acetate [%] 22.5 22.5 22.5 22.5 22.5 22.5 22.5
Entrapment ratio of leuprorelin acetate [%] 90.4 93.6 93.9 91.0 87.6 54.1 28.8

Experiment Example 10



[0197] 59 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Comparative Example 4, 54 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Comparative Example 6, 50 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 19, 54 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 20 and 55 mg of the microcapsule powder prepared in Example 21 were suspended in about 0.4 mL of dispersal vehicle, respectively, and subcutaneously administered to a rat (9 mg dose as leuprorelin acetate, respectively), then the leuprorelin acetate concentrations in the serum were measured. The results of the maximum blood level (Cmax) and AUC within 24 hours after the administration, AUC from 24-hour to one month after the administration (onset part) and serum concentration of the sixth month after the administration are shown in Table 5. As seen from Table 5, the preparation of Examples 19, 20 and 21 wherein the loading amount of the drug is about 20 to 22.5% and stearic acid is contained had a high blood level and AUC for the onset part, compared to the preparation of Comparative Examples 4 and 6 wherein the loading amount of the drug is about 20 to 22.5% and stearic acid is not contained. On the other hand, the drug was detected from blood even at 6 months after the administration, and it is confirmed that the drug is being released over a long period of time. That is, the transition of blood level in onset part could be improved significantly by containing stearic acid.
Table 5
 within 24 hours after the administration24-hour to one month after the administrationsixth month after the administration
CmaxAUCAUCserum concentration
[ng/mL][ng week/mL][ng week/mL][ng/mL]
Comparative Example 4 49.07 0.67 1.71 1.02
Comparative Example 6 129.97 1.56 2.30 1.17
Example 19 220.65 3.48 15.01 0.39
Example 20 132.63 1.95 7.06 0.84
Example 21 268.50 4.43 19.77 0.35

Industrial Applicability



[0198] The sustained-release composition of the present invention can contain a high content of a physiologically active substance and suppress the initial excessive release thereof and enable a long-term stable release rate.

[0199] That is, the suppression of the initial excessive release of the physiologically active peptide and the stable release of the drug on onset part after administration can be achieved, additionally, the sustained-release composition of the present invention can stably sustained-release the physiologically active substance for a long period from about 60 to 400 days after the administration at the effective blood concentration.

[0200] Additionally, since a content of a physiologically active substance in the preparation is higher than that of the conventional preparation, a volume and weight of whole sustained-release preparation needed per unit dose of the active ingredient can be reduced. Thereby, the physical burden can be relieved in patients such as a pain at the time of administration and an induration after administration considered due to administration of a preparation having a large unit volume.


Claims

1. A sustained-release composition in which a physiologically active substance comprised of a water-soluble physiologically active peptide is substantially uniformly dispersed in a microcapsule comprised of a lactic acid polymer, or a salt thereof,
wherein the physiologically active substance is contained in an amount of 15 to 35 (weight/weight) % to the total microcapsules, weight-average molecular weight (Mw) of the lactic acid polymer is 19,000 to 27,000 (g/mol),
wherein the physiologically active peptide is a LH-RH agonist represented by a general formula[II]:

5-oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-Y-Leu-Arg-Pro-Z wherein, Y represents DLeu, DAla, DTrp, DSer (tBu), D2Nal or DHis (ImBzl) and Z represents NH-C2H5 or Gly-NH2, or a salt thereof,

wherein the sustained-release composition further contains stearic acid, or a salt thereof, in a ratio of 0.5 to 1.5 moles to 1 mole of the physiologically active peptide, and

wherein the lactic acid polymer is a polymer consisting only of lactic acid.


 
2. The sustained-release composition according to claim 1, wherein the physiologically active substance is a peptide of formula:
5-oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-DLeu-Leu-Arg-Pro-NH-C2H5 or an acetate thereof.
 
3. The sustained-release composition according to claim 1, characterized in that a content of the contained physiologically active substance is 17 to 26 (weight/weight)% to the total microcapsules.
 
4. The sustained-release composition according to claim 1 which is obtained by:

(i) dissolving the lactic acid polymer or the salt thereof in a volatile water-immiscible first solvent to prepare a first solution,

(ii) dissolving the physiologically active substance comprised of the water-soluble physiologically active peptide in a water-miscible second solvent to prepare a second solution,

(iii) mixing the resultant first solution and the resultant second solution to prepare a third solution in which the lactic acid polymer or the salt thereof and the physiologically active substance are uniformly dissolved,

(iv) adding stearic acid to the first solution and/or the second solution or the third solution in a ratio of 0.5 to 1.5 moles to 1 mole of the physiologically active peptide,

(v) dispersing the resultant third solution in a fourth solution comprised of an aqueous solution of a surfactant to prepare an O/W emulsion at a controlled temperature of 15 to 35°C, and

(vi) removing the first solvent and the second solvent from the generated microcapsule by an in-water drying method at a controlled temperature of 15 to 35°C.


 
5. The sustained-release composition according to claim 4, characterized in that a mixed solvent in which a water-miscible third solvent is further added to the first solvent is used as a solvent for dissolving the lactic acid polymer or the salt thereof in the preparation of the first solution.
 
6. The sustained-release composition according to claim 4, wherein the first solvent is dichloromethane.
 
7. The sustained-release composition according to claim 4, wherein the second solvent and/or the third solvent is a lower alcohol.
 
8. The sustained-release composition according to claim 7, wherein the lower alcohol is methanol, ethanol, or propanol.
 
9. The sustained-release composition according to claim 4, characterized in that a volume ratio of the water-immiscible solvent and the water-miscible solvent in the third solution is 35:65 to 55:45.
 
10. The sustained-release composition according to claim 4, characterized in that a polymer concentration in the first solution is 33 to 45% by weight.
 
11. The sustained-release composition according to claim 4, characterized in that a loading amount of the physiologically active substance in the preparation of the third solution is 17 to 50% by weight.
 
12. The sustained-release composition according to claim 4, characterized in that a content of the contained physiologically active substance is 17 to 26 (weight/weight)% to the total microcapsules.
 
13. The sustained-release composition according to claim 12, characterized in that a loading amount of the physiologically active substance in the preparation of the third solution is 19 to 38% by weight.
 
14. The sustained-release composition according to claim 12, characterized in that a loading amount of the physiologically active substance in the preparation of the third solution is 20 to 23% by weight.
 
15. The sustained-release composition according to claim 1, characterized in that a ratio of the stearic acid to the total microcapsules is 0.01 to 50% by weight.
 
16. The sustained-release composition according to claim 1, which is characterized by being easily dispersible in a disperse medium.
 
17. The sustained-release composition according to claim 16, which is characterized by being stable for 24 hours or more after dispersion in the disperse medium.
 
18. The sustained-release composition according to claim 1, which is characterized in that a ratio of the weight-average molecular weight (Mw) to the number-average molecular weight (Mn) is more than 1.5.
 
19. The sustained-release composition according to claim 1, characterized in that the lactic acid polymer is polylactic acid or polylactide.
 
20. The sustained-release composition according to claim 1, characterized in that the lactic acid polymer is poly-DL-lactic acid or poly-DL-lactide.
 
21. The sustained-release composition according to claim 1, wherein the composition contains 5.0% by weight or less of a lactic acid polymer having a molecular weight of 5,000 (g/mol) or less.
 
22. The sustained-release composition according to claim 1, wherein the composition contains 1.5% by weight or less of a lactic acid polymer is a polymer having a molecular weight of 3,000 (g/mol) or less.
 
23. The sustained-release composition according to claim 1, wherein the composition contains 0.1% by weight or less lactic acid polymer having a molecular weight of 1,000 (g/mol) or less.
 
24. The sustained-release composition according to claim 1, wherein the weight-average molecular weight (Mw) of the lactic acid polymer is 19,500 to 26,500 (g/mol).
 
25. A process for preparation of a sustained-release composition of a microcapsule containing a physiologically active substance at 15 to 35% by weight to the whole microcapsules, comprising steps of:

(i) dissolving a lactic acid polymer or a salt thereof in a volatile water-immiscible first solvent to prepare a first solution, wherein the lactic acid polymer is a polymer consisting only of lactic acid,

(ii) dissolving the physiologically active substance comprised of a water-soluble physiologically active peptide in a water-miscible second solvent to prepare a second solution,

(iii) mixing the resultant first solution and the resultant second solution to prepare a third solution in which the lactic acid polymer or the salt thereof and the physiologically active substance are uniformly dissolved,

(iv) adding stearic acid to the first solution and/or the second solution or the third solution in a ratio of 0.5 to 1.5 moles to 1 mole of the physiologically active peptide,

(v) dispersing the resultant third solution in a fourth solution comprised of an aqueous solution of a surfactant to prepare an O/W emulsion at a controlled temperature of 15 to 35°C, and

(vi) removing the first solvent and the second solvent from the microcapsule by an in-water drying method at a controlled temperature of 15 to 35°C,

wherein the physiologically active peptide is a LH-RH agonist represented by a general formula[II]:
5-oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-Y-Leu-Arg-Pro-Z wherein, Y represents DLeu, DAla, DTrp, DSer (tBu), D2Nal or DHis (ImBzl) and Z represents NH-C2H5 or Gly-NH2, or a salt thereof, and
the weight-average molecular weight (Mw) of the lactic acid polymer is 19,000 to 27,000 (g/mol).
 
26. The process according to claim 25, which is characterized in that the stearic acid is dissolved in the second solution.
 
27. The process according to claim 25, which is characterized in that a loading amount of the physiologically active substance in the preparation of the third solution is 17 to 50% by weight.
 
28. The process according to claim 25, which is characterized in that a content of the contained physiologically active substance is 17 to 26 (weight/weight)% to the total microcapsules.
 
29. The process according to claim 28, which is characterized in that a loading amount of the physiologically active substance in the preparation of the third solution is 19 to 38% by weight.
 
30. A pharmaceutical composition comprising the sustained-release composition according to claim 1.
 
31. A sustained-release composition according to claim 1 for use in the prophylaxis or treatment of prostate cancer, prostatic hyperplasia, endometriosis, uterine fibroid, uterine fibroma, precocious puberty, dysmenorrhea, or breast cancer.
 
32. A sustained-release composition according to claim 1 for use in the prophylaxis of premenopausal breast cancer postoperative recurrence.
 
33. Use of the sustained-release composition according to claim 1 for the manufacture of a prophylactic or therapeutic agent for prostate cancer, prostatic hyperplasia, endometriosis, uterine fibroid, uterine fibroma, precocious puberty, dysmenorrhea or breast cancer.
 
34. Use of the sustained-release composition according to claim 1 for the manufacture of a prophylactic agent for premenopausal breast cancer postoperative recurrence.
 
35. A method of contraception comprising administering the sustained-release composition according to claim 1.
 


Ansprüche

1. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung, bei der eine physiologisch aktive Substanz, die aus einem wasserlöslichen physiologisch aktiven Peptid besteht, im Wesentlichen gleichmäßig in einer Mikrokapsel dispergiert ist, welche aus einem Milchsäurepolymer oder einem Salz davon besteht;
wobei die physiologisch aktive Substanz in einer Menge von 15 bis 35 Gew.-% der gesamten Mikrokapseln enthalten ist, das Gewichtsmittel des Molekulargewichts (Mw) des Milchsäurepolymers 19 000 bis 27 000 (g/mol) beträgt;
wobei das physiologisch aktive Peptid ein LH-RH-Agonist, der durch die allgemeine Formel [II] dargestellt wird:
5-Oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-Y-Leu-Arg-Pro-Z,
wobei Y für DLeu, DAla, DTrp, DSer(tBu), D2Nal oder DHis (ImBzl) steht und Z für NH-C2H5 oder Gly-NH2 steht, oder ein Salz davon ist;
wobei die Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung weiterhin Stearinsäure oder ein Salz davon in einem Verhältnis von 0,5 bis 1,5 mol zu 1 mol des physiologisch aktiven Peptids enthält und wobei das Milchsäurepolymer ein Polymer ist, das nur aus Milchsäure besteht.
 
2. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei die physiologisch aktive Substanz ein Peptid der Formel
5-Oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-DLeu-Leu-Arg-ProNH-C2H5 oder ein Acetat davon ist.
 
3. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Gehalt der darin enthaltenen physiologisch aktiven Substanz 17 bis 26 Gew.-% der gesamten Mikrokapseln beträgt.
 
4. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, die erhalten wird durch:

(i) Mischen des Milchsäurepolymers oder seines Salzes in einem flüchtigen, mit Wasser unmischbaren ersten Lösungsmittel unter Herstellung einer ersten Lösung;

(ii) Auflösen der physiologisch aktiven Substanz, die aus dem wasserlöslichen physiologisch aktiven Peptid besteht, in einem wassermischbaren zweiten Lösungsmittel unter Herstellung einer zweiten Lösung;

(iii) Mischen der resultierenden ersten Lösung und der resultierenden zweiten Lösung unter Herstellung einer dritten Lösung, in der das Milchsäurepolymer oder sein Salz und die physiologisch aktive Substanz gleichmäßig gelöst sind;

(iv) Hinzufügen von Stearinsäure zu der ersten Lösung und/oder der zweiten Lösung oder der dritten Lösung in einem Verhältnis von 0,5 bis 1,5 mol zu 1 mol des physiologisch aktiven Peptids;

(v) Dispergieren der resultierenden dritten Lösung in einer vierten Lösung, die aus einer wässrigen Lösung eines Tensids besteht, unter Herstellung einer Öl-in-Wasser-Emulsion bei einer kontrollierten Temperatur von 15 bis 35 °C; und

(vi) Entfernen des ersten Lösungsmittels und des zweiten Lösungsmittels aus der erzeugten Mikrokapsel durch ein In-Wasser-Trocknungsverfahren bei einer kontrollierten Temperatur von 15 bis 35 °C.


 
5. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass bei der Herstellung der ersten Lösung ein Lösungsmittelgemisch, bei dem ein wassermischbares drittes Lösungsmittel weiterhin zu dem ersten Lösungsmittel gegeben wird, als Lösungsmittel zum Auflösen des Milchsäurepolymers oder seines Salzes verwendet wird.
 
6. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 4, wobei es sich bei dem ersten Lösungsmittel um Dichlormethan handelt.
 
7. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 4, wobei das zweite Lösungsmittel und/oder das dritte Lösungsmittel ein niederer Alkohol sind.
 
8. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 7, wobei es sich bei dem niederen Alkohol um Methanol, Ethanol oder Propanol handelt.
 
9. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Volumenverhältnis des mit Wasser unmischbaren Lösungsmittels zu dem wassermischbaren Lösungsmittel in der dritten Lösung 35:65 bis 55:45 beträgt.
 
10. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Polymerkonzentration in der ersten Lösung 33 bis 45 Gew.-% beträgt.
 
11. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Beladungsmenge der physiologisch aktiven Substanz bei der Herstellung der dritten Lösung 17 bis 50 Gew.-% beträgt.
 
12. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Gehalt der darin enthaltenen physiologisch aktiven Substanz 17 bis 26 Gew.-% der gesamten Mikrokapseln beträgt.
 
13. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 12, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Beladungsmenge der physiologisch aktiven Substanz bei der Herstellung der dritten Lösung 19 bis 38 Gew.-% beträgt.
 
14. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 12, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Beladungsmenge der physiologisch aktiven Substanz bei der Herstellung der dritten Lösung 20 bis 23 Gew.-% beträgt.
 
15. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Verhältnis der Stearinsäure zu den gesamten Mikrokapseln 0,01 bis 50 Gew.-% beträgt.
 
16. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sie in einem Dispersionsmedium leicht dispergierbar ist.
 
17. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 16, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sie in dem Dispersionsmedium nach der Dispersion über 24 Stunden oder mehr stabil ist.
 
18. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Verhältnis des Gewichtsmittels des Molekulargewichts (Mw) zu dem Zahlenmittel des Molekulargewichts (Mn) größer als 1,5 ist.
 
19. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass es sich bei dem Milchsäurepolymer um Polymilchsäure oder Polylactid handelt.
 
20. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass es sich bei dem Milchsäurepolymer um Poly-DL-milchsäure oder Poly-DL-lactid handelt.
 
21. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei die Zusammensetzung 5,0 Gew.-% oder weniger eines Milchsäurepolymers mit einem Molekulargewicht von 5000 (g/mol) oder weniger enthält.
 
22. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei die Zusammensetzung 1,5 Gew.-% oder weniger eines Milchsäurepolymers enthält, das ein Polymer mit einem Molekulargewicht von 3000 (g/mol) oder weniger ist.
 
23. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei die Zusammensetzung 0,1 Gew.-% oder weniger Milchsäurepolymer mit einem Molekulargewicht von 1000 (g/mol) oder weniger enthält.
 
24. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das Gewichtsmittel des Molekulargewichts (Mw) des Milchsäurepolymers 19 500 bis 26 500 (g/mol) beträgt.
 
25. Verfahren zur Herstellung einer Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung einer Mikrokapsel, die eine physiologisch aktive Substanz in einem Anteil von 15 bis 35 Gew.-% der gesamten Mikrokapseln enthält, umfassend die Schritte:

(i) Auflösen eines Milchsäurepolymers oder eines Salzes davon in einem flüchtigen, mit Wasser unmischbaren ersten Lösungsmittel unter Herstellung einer ersten Lösung, wobei das Milchsäurepolymer ein Polymer ist, das nur aus Milchsäure besteht;

(ii) Auflösen der physiologisch aktiven Substanz, die aus einem wasserlöslichen physiologisch aktiven Peptid besteht, in einem wassermischbaren zweiten Lösungsmittel unter Herstellung einer zweiten Lösung;

(iii) Mischen der resultierenden ersten Lösung und der resultierenden zweiten Lösung unter Herstellung einer dritten Lösung, in der das Milchsäurepolymer oder sein Salz und die physiologisch aktive Substanz gleichmäßig gelöst sind;

(iv) Hinzufügen von Stearinsäure zu der ersten Lösung und/oder der zweiten Lösung oder der dritten Lösung in einem Verhältnis von 0,5 bis 1,5 mol zu 1 mol des physiologisch aktiven Peptids;

(v) Dispergieren der resultierenden dritten Lösung in einer vierten Lösung, die aus einer wässrigen Lösung eines Tensids besteht, unter Herstellung einer Öl-in-Wasser-Emulsion bei einer kontrollierten Temperatur von 15 bis 35 °C; und

(vi) Entfernen des ersten Lösungsmittels und des zweiten Lösungsmittels aus der Mikrokapsel durch ein In-Wasser-Trocknungsverfahren bei einer kontrollierten Temperatur von 15 bis 35 °C;

wobei das physiologisch aktive Peptid ein LH-RH-Agonist, der durch die allgemeine Formel [II] dargestellt wird:
5-Oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-Y-Leu-Arg-Pro-Z,
wobei Y für DLeu, DAla, DTrp, DSer(tBu), D2Nal oder DHis (ImBzl) steht und Z für NH-C2H5 oder Gly-NH2 steht, oder ein Salz davon ist; und
das Gewichtsmittel des Molekulargewichts (Mw) des Milchsäurepolymers 19 000 bis 27 000 (g/mol) beträgt.
 
26. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 25, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Stearinsäure in der zweiten Lösung gelöst wird.
 
27. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 25, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Beladungsmenge der physiologisch aktiven Substanz bei der Herstellung der dritten Lösung 17 bis 50 Gew.-% beträgt.
 
28. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 25, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Gehalt der darin enthaltenen physiologisch aktiven Substanz 17 bis 26 Gew.-% der gesamten Mikrokapseln beträgt.
 
29. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 28, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Beladungsmenge der physiologisch aktiven Substanz bei der Herstellung der dritten Lösung 19 bis 38 Gew.-% beträgt.
 
30. Pharmazeutische Zusammensetzung, die die Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1 umfasst.
 
31. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1 zur Verwendung bei der Prophylaxe oder Behandlung von Prostatakrebs, Prostatahypertrophie, Endometriose, Uterusmyom, Uterusfibrom, Pubertas praecox, Menstruationsbeschwerden oder Brustkrebs.
 
32. Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1 zur Verwendung bei der Prophylaxe des postoperativen Rezidivs von prämenopausalem Brustkrebs.
 
33. Verwendung der Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1 zur Herstellung eines prophylaktischen oder therapeutischen Mittels gegen Prostatakrebs, Prostatahypertrophie, Endometriose, Uterusmyom, Uterusfibrom, Pubertas praecox, Menstruationsbeschwerden oder Brustkrebs.
 
34. Verwendung der Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1 zur Herstellung eines prophylaktischen Mittels gegen ein postoperatives Rezidiv von prämenopausalem Brustkrebs.
 
35. Verfahren zur Empfängnisverhütung, das das Verabreichen der Zusammensetzung mit nachhaltiger Wirkstofffreisetzung gemäß Anspruch 1 umfasst.
 


Revendications

1. Composition à libération prolongée dans laquelle une substance physiologiquement active, constituée d'un peptide physiologiquement actif hydrosoluble, est dispersée, d'une manière pratiquement homogène, dans une microcapsule constituée d'un polymère d'acide lactique ou d'un sel d'un tel polymère, dans laquelle composition

- la substance physiologiquement active se trouve en une quantité représentant 15 % à 35 % (en poids/poids) des microcapsules complètes, la masse moléculaire moyenne en poids (Mp) du polymère d'acide lactique valant 19000 à 27000 (g/mol),

- le peptide physiologiquement actif est un agoniste de la LH-RH représenté par la formule générale [II] :
5-oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-Y-Leu-Arg-Pro-Z,
ou un sel d'un tel composé,
dans laquelle formule Y représente un chaînon DLeu, DAla, DTrp, DSer (tBu), D2Nal ou DHis (ImBzl), et Z représente un groupe NH-C2H5 ou Gly-NH2,

- la composition à libération prolongée contient par ailleurs de l'acide stéarique, ou un sel de cet acide, en un rapport de 0,5 à 1,5 mole pour 1 mole de peptide physiologiquement actif,

- et le polymère d'acide lactique est un polymère constitué uniquement d'acide lactique.


 
2. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1, dans laquelle la substance physiologiquement active est un peptide de formule :
5-oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-DLeu-Leu-Arg-Pro-NH-C2H5,
ou un acétate de ce peptide.
 
3. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1, caractérisée en ce que la teneur en la substance physiologiquement active représente 17 % à 26 % (en poids/poids) des microcapsules complètes.
 
4. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1, que l'on obtient en effectuant les étapes suivantes :

(i) dissoudre le polymère d'acide lactique, ou le sel d'un tel polymère, dans un premier solvant volatil non-miscible à l'eau, de manière à préparer une première solution,

(ii) dissoudre la substance physiologiquement active, constituée par le peptide physiologiquement actif hydrosoluble, dans un deuxième solvant miscible à l'eau, de manière à préparer une deuxième solution,

(iii) mélanger la première solution et la deuxième solution ainsi obtenues, de manière à préparer une troisième solution dans laquelle le polymère d'acide lactique, ou le sel d'un tel polymère, et la substance physiologiquement active sont dissous d'une manière homogène,

(iv) ajouter de l'acide stéarique à la première solution et/ou la deuxième solution ou la troisième solution, en un rapport de 0,5 à 1,5 mole pour 1 mole de peptide physiologiquement actif,

(v) disperser la troisième solution ainsi obtenue dans une quatrième solution, constituée d'un tensioactif en solution aqueuse, de manière à préparer une émulsion H/E (huile dans l'eau) à une température fixée à une valeur de 15°C à 35°C,

(vi) et chasser le premier solvant et le deuxième solvant de la microcapsule ainsi produite, par un processus de séchage dans l'eau à une température fixée à une valeur de 15 °C à 35 °C.


 
5. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 4, caractérisée en ce que, pour dissoudre le polymère d'acide lactique ou le sel d'un tel polymère lors de la préparation de la première solution, on utilise comme solvant un solvant mixte, dans lequel on a en plus ajouté au premier solvant un troisième solvant miscible à l'eau.
 
6. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 4, dans laquelle le premier solvant est du dichlorométhane.
 
7. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 4, dans laquelle le deuxième solvant et/ou le troisième solvant est ou sont un alcool inférieur.
 
8. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 7, dans laquelle l'alcool inférieur est du méthanol, de l'éthanol ou du propanol.
 
9. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 4, caractérisée en ce que, dans la troisième solution, le rapport en volume du solvant non miscible à l'eau au solvant miscible à l'eau est de 35:65 à 55:45.
 
10. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 4, caractérisée en ce que la concentration de polymère dans la première solution représente 33 % à 45 % en poids.
 
11. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 4, caractérisée en ce que, lors de la préparation de la troisième solution, la quantité de charge de la substance physiologiquement active représente 17 % à 50 % en poids.
 
12. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 4, caractérisée en ce que la teneur en la substance physiologiquement active représente 17 % à 26 % (en poids/poids) des microcapsules complètes.
 
13. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 12, caractérisée en ce que, lors de la préparation de la troisième solution, la quantité de charge de la substance physiologiquement active représente 19 % à 38 % en poids.
 
14. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 12, caractérisée en ce que, lors de la préparation de la troisième solution, la quantité de charge de la substance physiologiquement active représente 20 % à 23 % en poids.
 
15. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1, caractérisée en ce que le rapport de l'acide stéarique aux microcapsules complètes représente 0,01 % à 50 % en poids.
 
16. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1, qui est caractérisée en ce qu'elle est facile à disperser dans un milieu de dispersion.
 
17. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 16, qui est caractérisée en ce qu'elle est stable pendant 24 heures ou plus après avoir été dispersée dans le milieu de dispersion.
 
18. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1, qui est caractérisée en ce que le rapport de la masse moléculaire moyenne en poids (Mp) à la masse moléculaire moyenne en nombre (Mn) est supérieur à 1,5.
 
19. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1, qui est caractérisée en ce que le polymère d'acide lactique est un poly(acide lactique) ou un polylactide.
 
20. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1, qui est caractérisée en ce que le polymère d'acide lactique est un poly(acide DL-lactique) ou un poly-DL-lactide.
 
21. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1, la composition contenant 5,0 % en poids ou moins d'un polymère d'acide lactique dont la masse moléculaire vaut 5000 (g/mol) ou moins.
 
22. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1, la composition contenant 1,5 % en poids ou moins d'un polymère d'acide lactique dont la masse moléculaire vaut 3000 (g/mol) ou moins.
 
23. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1, la composition contenant 0,1 % en poids ou moins d'un polymère d'acide lactique dont la masse moléculaire vaut 1000 (g/mol) ou moins.
 
24. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1, dans laquelle la masse moléculaire moyenne en poids (Mp) du polymère d'acide lactique vaut 19500 à 26500 (g/mol).
 
25. Procédé pour la préparation d'une composition à libération prolongée d'une microcapsule contenant une substance physiologiquement active à raison de 15 % à 35 % en poids par rapport aux microcapsules entières, lequel procédé comporte les étapes suivantes :

(i) dissoudre un polymère d'acide lactique, ou un sel d'un tel polymère, dans un premier solvant volatil non-miscible à l'eau, de manière à préparer une première solution, le polymère d'acide lactique étant un polymère constitué uniquement d'acide lactique,

(ii) dissoudre la substance physiologiquement active, constituée d'un peptide physiologiquement actif hydrosoluble, dans un deuxième solvant miscible à l'eau, de manière à préparer une deuxième solution,

(iii) mélanger la première solution et la deuxième solution ainsi obtenues, de manière à préparer une troisième solution dans laquelle le polymère d'acide lactique, ou le sel d'un tel polymère, et la substance physiologiquement active sont dissous d'une manière homogène,

(iv) ajouter de l'acide stéarique à la première solution et/ou la deuxième solution ou la troisième solution, en un rapport de 0,5 à 1,5 mole pour 1 mole de peptide physiologiquement actif,

(v) disperser la troisième solution ainsi obtenue dans une quatrième solution, constituée d'un tensioactif en solution aqueuse, de manière à préparer une émulsion H/E (huile dans l'eau) à une température fixée à une valeur de 15 °C à 35 °C,

(vi) et chasser le premier solvant et le deuxième solvant de la microcapsule, par un processus de séchage dans l'eau à une température fixée à une valeur de 15 °C à 35 °C,

étant entendu que

- le peptide physiologiquement actif est un agoniste de la LH-RH représenté par la formule générale [II] :
5-oxo-Pro-His-Trp-Ser-Tyr-Y-Leu-Arg-Pro-Z,
ou un sel d'un tel composé,
dans laquelle formule Y représente un chaînon DLeu, DAla, DTrp, DSer (tBu), D2Nal ou DHis (ImBzl), et Z représente un groupe NH-C2H5 ou Gly-NH2,

- et la masse moléculaire moyenne en poids (Mp) du polymère d'acide lactique vaut 19000 à 27000 (g/mol).


 
26. Procédé conforme à la revendication 25, qui est caractérisé en ce que l'on dissout l'acide stéarique dans la deuxième solution.
 
27. Procédé conforme à la revendication 25, qui est caractérisé en ce que,
lors de la préparation de la troisième solution, la quantité de charge de la substance physiologiquement active représente 17 % à 50 % en poids.
 
28. Procédé conforme à la revendication 25, qui est caractérisé en ce que la teneur en la substance physiologiquement active représente 17 % à 26 % (en poids/poids) des microcapsules complètes.
 
29. Procédé conforme à la revendication 28, qui est caractérisé en ce que, lors de la préparation de la troisième solution, la quantité de charge de la substance physiologiquement active représente 19 % à 38 % en poids.
 
30. Composition pharmaceutique comprenant une composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1.
 
31. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1 pour l'utilisation dans la prophylaxie ou le traitement d'un cancer de la prostate, d'une hyperplasie prostatique, d'une endométriose, d'un léiomyome utérin, d'un fibrome utérin, d'une puberté précoce, d'une dysménorrhée ou d'un cancer du sein.
 
32. Composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1 pour l'utilisation dans la prophylaxie de la récidive post-opératoire d'un cancer du sein avant la ménopause.
 
33. Utilisation d'une composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1 pour la production d'un agent prophylactique ou thérapeutique contre un cancer de la prostate, une hyperplasie prostatique, une endométriose, un léiomyome utérin, un fibrome utérin, une puberté précoce, une dysménorrhée ou un cancer du sein.
 
34. Utilisation d'une composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1 pour la production d'un agent prophylactique contre la récidive post-opératoire d'un cancer du sein avant la ménopause.
 
35. Procédé de contraception comportant l'administration d'une composition à libération prolongée conforme à la revendication 1.
 




Drawing




















Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description