(19)
(11)EP 3 236 939 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

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

(21)Application number: 15823134.0

(22)Date of filing:  22.12.2015
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61K 9/00(2006.01)
A61K 47/26(2006.01)
A61M 5/31(2006.01)
A61K 38/48(2006.01)
A61Q 19/08(2006.01)
A61M 5/315(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2015/002602
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/102068 (30.06.2016 Gazette  2016/26)

(54)

BOTULINUM TOXIN PREFILLED CONTAINER

MIT BOTULINUMTOXIN VORGEFÜLLTE SPRITZE

SERINGUE PRÉREMPLIE DE TOXINE BOTULINIQUE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 23.12.2014 EP 14004394

(43)Date of publication of application:
01.11.2017 Bulletin 2017/44

(60)Divisional application:
19193112.0 / 3590500

(73)Proprietor: Merz Pharma GmbH & Co. KGaA
60318 Frankfurt am Main (DE)

(72)Inventor:
  • VOGT, Markus
    60438 Frankfurt am Main (DE)

(74)Representative: Ricker, Mathias 
Wallinger Ricker Schlotter Tostmann Patent- und Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB Zweibrückenstrasse 5-7
80331 München
80331 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2009/008595
WO-A2-00/15245
KR-B1- 100 753 765
US-A1- 2007 134 199
US-A1- 2013 211 344
WO-A1-2014/026161
WO-A2-2006/005910
US-A1- 2006 269 575
US-A1- 2008 045 889
US-A1- 2014 249 484
  
      
    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

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The present invention relates to a prefilled glass syringe comprising an aqueous botulinum toxin formulation. The aqueous botulinum toxin formulation in the prefilled glass syringe is stable at low to ambient temperature for a prolonged time period. Furthermore, the present invention relates to a kit comprising the botulinum toxin prefilled glass syringe, and to the use of the botulinum toxin prefilled glass syringe in cosmetic applications.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] The stability of pharmaceutical products is of paramount importance to ensure safe and efficacious use for a sufficiently long time period. Unfortunately, the performance (safety, reliability, and efficacy) of most pharmaceutical products deteriorates over time. The causes of drug deterioration include chemical degradation (e.g., hydrolysis, oxidation, reduction and racemization), microbial contamination, and other mechanisms (e.g., precipitation).

    [0003] Proteinaceous active ingredients are often of a labile nature and inherently instable. This leads to loss of biological activity during production, reconstitution and/or storage of protein-containing pharmaceutical compositions. These problems observed with proteins may be due to chemical instability, resulting in bond formation or cleavage (e.g., hydrolysis, oxidation, racemization, β-elimination and disulfide exchange), and/or due to physical instability of the second or higher-order structure of proteins without covalent bond-breaking modification (e.g., denaturation, adsorption to surfaces, and non-covalent self-aggregation).

    [0004] Since degradation reactions are generally fastest in aqueous solutions and slowest in solid dosage forms, protein active ingredients are often formulated as lyophilized (i.e. freeze-dried) products. However, the lyophilized products have generally to be reconstituted with a pharmaceutically acceptable liquid (e.g., saline) prior to use. Therefore, lyophilized pharmaceutical products are considered less convenient than other dosage forms. Further, lyophilized products are usually more expensive and time-consuming to manufacture. Moreover, mismanagement can occur during the reconstitution process resulting in inaccurate dosing or sterility issues. All these disadvantageous can be overcome by the use of prefilled syringes. Therefore, prefilled syringes have been become increasingly popular as drug delivery devices.

    [0005] However, if proteins are used as active ingredients, the limited stability of proteins rendered it often impossible for formulation scientists to use a prefilled syringe format. This applies especially to very dilute aqueous solutions of botulinum toxin (botulinum neurotoxin, BoNT). Such BoNT solutions are used in the treatment of a wide range of debilitating neuromuscular diseases (e.g., cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, spasticity, and hyperhidrosis) and in aesthetic medicine (e.g., treatment of facial wrinkles). There are seven homologous serotypes (A-G) of botulinum toxin, which are produced by different Clostridium spp., in particular C. botulinum, in the form of a complex consisting of a neurotoxic polypeptide and other (non-toxic) clostridial proteins (i.e. different hemagglutinins and a nontoxic, non-hemagglutinating protein). The neurotoxic polypeptide has a molecular weight of about 150 kDa and is activated by selective proteolytic cleavage to yield the active two-chain form consisting of a heavy chain (HC; includes the translocation domain and receptor-binding domain) and a light chain (LC; includes the catalytic domain) linked by a disulfide bond and non-covalent interactions.

    [0006] Botulinum toxins are inherently instable and, in particular, are known to be highly unstable at alkaline pH and heat-labile. Additionally, it is known that dilution of the isolated toxin complex from milligram quantities to the much lower toxin concentrations used in solutions for injection (in the nanograms per milliliter range) presents significant difficulties because of the rapid loss of specific activity upon such great dilution.

    [0007] Therefore, commercial preparations of botulinum toxin often come as vacuum-dried or lyophilized material. Examples include, for example, Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA; Allergan, Inc.) and Dysport® (abobotulinumtoxinA; Ipsen Ltd.), which both contain the C. botulinum toxin complex of type A. Another example is Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxin; Merz Pharma GmbH & Co. KGaA), which contains the pure neurotoxic component of serotype A (i.e. the neurotoxic polypeptide of a molecular weight of about 150 kDa) and is devoid of any other proteins of the Clostridium botulinum toxin complex (i.e. the different hemagglutinins and the nontoxic, non-hemagglutinating protein).

    [0008] However, the lyophilized toxin products have a number of drawbacks including the need for reconstitution prior to use and concomitant sterility issues. In addition, the reconstituted toxin solution is often not entirely used in the clinical practice because not every patient and indication requires the same dosage. The unused amount of the reconstituted toxin solution can be stored at lower temperatures, but only for a short period of time. For example, after dilution with normal saline prior to use, Botox® and Dysport® are recommended to be used within 6 hours and 4 hours, respectively. Likewise, the package leaflet of Xeomin® specifies that after storage for more than 24 hours, the reconstituted Xeomin® solution shall no longer be used than for 24 hours and is then to be discarded.

    [0009] To increase toxin stability, stabilizing proteins such as human serum albumin (HSA) are often added in the art. Other stabilizing strategies involve the use of non-proteinaceous stabilizing agents, for example surfactants, polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), disaccharides, polyols and the like. In addition, it was disclosed in WO 00/15245 that a liquid formulation of highly concentrated botulinum toxin type B (about 2500 U/ml) is stable for up to 30 months when stored in glass vials at 5°C. However, this prolonged stability requires buffering the pH of the formulation down to an acidic pH of between 5 and 6, which causes pain upon injection. Other known approaches to increase toxin stability rely on the addition of various non-protein excipients which, however, are unsuitable or undesirable for human use (see, e.g., WO 01/58472, WO 2006/005910, and WO 2007/041664).

    [0010] Thus, there is still no injectable botulinum toxin presentation available which is not only stable over a long period to provide a sufficiently long shelf life, but is also convenient and easy to use, reduces medication errors, and minimizes the risk of contamination.

    OBJECTIVE OF THE INVENTION



    [0011] In view of the above, the objective of the present invention is to provide a medical dosage form for the administration of botulinum toxin, which has a long shelf life and is convenient, safe and easy to use.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0012] The above object is solved by the provision of a botulinum toxin prefilled syringe which is characterized by a superior long-term stability of the liquid botulinum toxin formulation.

    [0013] In a first aspect, the present invention provides a prefilled glass syringe comprising an aqueous botulinum toxin formulation, wherein the toxin activity is not reduced by more than 25%, preferably by not more than 20%, relative to the initial toxin activity, upon storage of the prefilled syringe for (a) 12 months at 5°Cor (b) 12 months at 25°C.

    [0014] The stability of the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation in the prefilled syringein terms of the count of subvisible particles equal to or greater than 10 µm is also excellent and generally below 1000/ml during storage for 6 to 24 months (e.g., 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 or 24 months) at 2-30°C (e.g., at 5°C, 25°C or 30°C). Furthermore, the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation exhibits an excellent pH stability as indicated by a pH value that is generally not increased or decreased by more than 10%, relative to the initial pH value, during storage of the prefilled syringe for 6 to 24 months (e.g., 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 or 24 months) at 2-30°C (e.g., at 5°C, 25°C or 30°C).

    [0015] In another aspect, the present invention provides a kit comprising a prefilled glass syringeaccording to the first aspect of the invention and, optionally, instructions for use of said prefilled glass syringe.

    [0016] .

    [0017] In still another aspect, the present invention relates to the use of the prefilled glass syringe according to the first aspect of the invention for use in cosmetic treatments, such as for treating wrinkles of the skin and facial asymmetries, e.g. glabellar frown line, crow's feet, upper facial rhytides and platysma bands.

    [0018] In a still further aspect, the present invention relates to a method for the cosmetic treatment of the skin, such as for treating wrinkles of the skin and facial asymmetries, the method comprising locally administering an effective amount of botulinum toxin to a patient by intradermal, subdermal or subcutaneous injection using the prefilled glass syringeaccording to the first aspect of the present invention.

    [0019] Further embodiments of the present invention are set forth in the appended dependent claims. The present invention may be more fully understood by reference to the following detailed description of the invention, the examples and the accompanying drawings.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0020] 

    FIG. 1 shows the stability of a liquid botulinum toxin formulation in prefilled syringe configurations A, B, G, and H at 5°C as a function of time. Configuration A: (●), configuration B (■), configuration H: (□), configuration G: (○).

    FIG. 2 shows the stability of a liquid botulinum toxin formulation in prefilled syringe configurations A, B, G, and H at 25°C as a function of time. Configuration A: (●), configuration B (■), configuration H: (□), configuration G: (○).

    FIG. 3 shows the stability of a liquid botulinum toxin formulation in prefilled syringe configurations A, B, G, and H at 30°C as a function of time. Configuration A: (●), configuration B (■), configuration H: (□), configuration G: (○).


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0021] The present invention is based on the surprising finding that a liquid botulinum toxin formulation in a glass syringe is stable after storage for a prolonged period of time at reduced temperature (e.g., 2-8°C) and even at ambient temperature (e.g., 20-30°C, in particular 25°C). The botulinum toxin prefilled syringe of the present invention therefore advantageously exhibits an extended shelf life.

    [0022] Moreover, the high long-term stability provides tolerance against interruptions of the cool chain and may facilitate the approval procedure and/or the commercialization in all climate zones, including countries with hot climate. Furthermore, the prefilled glass syringe presents several additional advantages in comparison to other administration forms, such as easy and convenient use, reduced risk of medication errors, high dosing accuracy, low risk of contamination, improved sterility assurance, and/or high safety in administration.

    [0023] Prefilled syringes have two openings that are sealed to prevent leakage of the contents (e.g., aqueous formulations). In case of a prefilled syringe, the proximal end is sealed by a plunger stopper and the distal end is sealed by a capping device, as explained in detail herein below..

    [0024] In a first aspect, the present invention relates to a prefilled glass syringe comprising botulinum toxin in an aqueous formulation, wherein the toxin activity is not reduced by more than 25%, relative to the initial toxin activity, upon storage of the prefilled syringe for (a) 12 months at standard refrigerator temperatures (i.e. 2-8°C, such as 5°C), or (b) 12 months at 25°C. Preferably, the toxin activity is not reduced by more than 20% or 15%, relative to the initial toxin activity, upon storage of the prefilled syringe for (a) 12 months at 2-8°C (e.g., 5°C), or (b) 12 months at 25°C. More preferably, the toxin activity is not reduced by more than 20% or 15%, relative to the initial toxin activity, upon storage of the prefilled syringe for (a) 6 months at 2-8°C (e.g., 5°C), (b) 6 months at 25°C. Particularly preferable, the toxin activity is not reduced by more than 10%, relative to the initial toxin activity, upon storage of the prefilled syringe for (a) 3 to 6 months at 2-8°C (e.g., 5°C) or (b) 3 to 6 months at 25°C. Especially preferable, the toxin activity is not reduced by more than 5%, relative to the initial toxin activity, upon storage of the prefilled syringe for (a) 3 to 6 months at 2-8°C (e.g., 5°C) or (b) 3 to 6 months at 25°C.

    [0025] Surprisingly, the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation in the prefilled syringe is also stable for even longer storage times of up to 24 months or even longer. For example, upon storage for up to 24 months (e.g., 15, 18 or 24 months) at 2-8°C (e.g., 5°C) or 25 °C, the toxin activity is preferably not reduced by more than 30% or 25%, more preferably by no more than 20%, in particular by no more than 15%, particularly preferable by no more than 10%, and most preferable by no more than 5%, relative to the initial toxin activity.

    [0026] In particular, the toxin activity is preferably not reduced by more than 25%, 20%, 15%, 10% or 5%, relative to the initial toxin activity, upon storage of the prefilled syringe for 24 months at 2-8°. Upon storage of the prefilled syringe at 2-8° for 18 months, the toxin activity is preferably not reduced by more than 25%, 20%, 15%, 10% or 5%, relative to the initial toxin activity. Furthermore, the toxin activity is preferably not reduced by more than 35%, 30%, 25%, 20% or 15%, relative to the initial toxin activity, upon storage of the prefilled syringe for 24 months at 25°C. Upon storage of the prefilled syringe at 25°C for 18 months, the toxin activity is preferably not reduced by more than 30%, 25%, 20%, 15% or 10%, relative to the initial toxin activity.

    [0027] Within the present invention, the term "toxin activity" is intended to refer to the biological activity of the botulinum toxin. "Biological activity" may refer to (a) receptor binding, (b) internalization, (c) translocation across the endosomal membrane into the cytosol, and/or (d) endoproteolytic cleavage of proteins involved in synaptic vesicle membrane fusion. For example, any LC (ligh chain) domain, which shows proteolytic activity of more than 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% and up to 100% of the corresponding wild-type LC domain in a SNAP-25 assay may be considered "biological active" or "to exhibit proteolytic activity" within the scope of this invention. Furthermore, any HC (heavy chain) domain that is capable of binding to a cellular HC domain receptor, in particular to its native HC domain receptor, and is capable of translocating an LC domain attached to it, is considered "biologically active".

    [0028] The biological activity is expressed in Mouse Units (MU). As used herein, 1 MU is the amount of neurotoxic component, which kills 50% of a specified mouse population after intraperitoneal injection, i.e. the mouse i.p. LD50, as measured in accordance with the method of Schantz and Kauter (Schantz and Kauter, J. Assoc. Off. Anal. Chem. 1978, 61:96-99). The terms "MU" and "Unit" or "U" are used interchangeable herein.

    [0029] Suitable assays for assessing the biological activity include the mouse hemidiaphragm assay (MHA) described by Pearce et al. (Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 128:69-77, 1994), the hemidiaphragm assay (HDA) according to Goschel et al. (Experimental Neurology 147:96-102, 1997), the mouse diaphragm assay (MDA) according to Dressler et al. (Mov. Disord. 20:1617-1619, 2005), the SNAP-25 protease assay (e.g., the "GFP-SNAP25 fluorescence release assay" described in WO 2006/020748 or the "improved SNAP25 endopeptidase immuno-assay" described in Jones et al., 2008, J. Immunol. Methods 329:92-101), the electrochemoluminescence (ECL) sandwich ELISA described in WO 2009/114748, and cell-based assays as those described in WO 2009/114748, WO 2004/029576, WO 2013/049508 and, in particular, WO 2014/207109.

    [0030] As used herein, the term "initial toxin activity" or "initial potency" generally refers to the activity of the botulinum toxin at the beginning of the storage period, i.e. after manufacture of the final, sterilized botulinum toxin prefilled syringe, in particular directly after manufacture or within one or two days after manufacture. Further, the term "upon storage", as used herein is intended to mean after storage for a certain time period. In addition, the term "during storage" generally means over the course of the entire storage period.

    [0031] Furthermore, the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation is highly stable in terms of the subvisible particle count. A "subvisible particle" within the meaning of the present invention is typically a particle with a diameter below 100 µm. Specifically, the count (or number) of particles equal to or greater than 10 µm in the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation is typically below 1000/ml, preferably below 600/ml and more preferably below 200/ml during storage for 6 to 24 months (e.g., 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 or 24 months) at 2-30°C (e.g., at 5°C, 25°C or 30°C).

    [0032] Particle measurements may be conducted by different methods, such as Micro-Flow Imaging (MFI), Resonant Mass Measurement (RMM), and Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA). The particle measurements usually follow USP <788>. Within the context of the present invention, the Micro-Flow Imaging measurement is preferably used. This measurement method may, for example, be conducted using a DPA-5200 particle analyzer system (ProteinSimple, Santa Clara, CA, USA) equipped with a silane coated high-resolution 100 µm flow cell. Generally, the samples are analyzed undiluted.

    [0033] Alternatively, Resonant Mass Measurements (RMM) may be employed to determine the number of particles using, for example, the ARCHIMEDES Particle Metrology System (Affinity Biosensors, Santa Barbara, CA, USA) equipped with a microsensor (size range 0.3-4 µm) calibrated with 1 µm polystyrene standards. All samples are typically analyzed without dilution. The results may be analyzed using the ParticleLab software (v1.8.570) with a size bin step of 10 nm. As another alternative for determining the particle count, Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) may be used, for example, using a NanoSight LM20 system (NanoSight, Amesbury, UK). The samples are typically measured undiluted. Movements of the particles in the samples may be recorded as videos for 60 seconds at ambient temperature and analyzed using suitable software (e.g., the NTA 2.3 Software).

    [0034] Moreover, the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation shows high pH stability in that the pH value is essentially stable during storage of the prefilled syringe. Preferably, the pH value is not increased or decreased by more than 10%, 8% or 6%, relative to the initial pH value, upon storage of the prefilled syringe for 6 to 24 months (e.g., 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 or 24 months) at 2-30 °C (e.g., at 5 °C, 25°C or 30°C), for example for 18 months at 25°C or for 24 months at 25°C. The pH may be measured in accordance with the US Pharmacopeia standardized test method USP <791>, which outlines pH measurements for a multitude of pharmaceutical product. Any suitable pH meter may be used, for example the Lab 870 pH meter of Schott Instruments.

    [0035] As used herein, the term "prefilled syringe" refers to a syringe which is filled with a drug composition (i.e. the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation) prior to distribution to the end user who will administer the drug to the patient. A prefilled syringe typically includes a drug containment container forming part of a syringe body (i.e. a syringe barrel), a plunger to seal the proximal opening of the syringe and for expelling the drug, and a sealing device (e.g., a tip cap or a needle shield) on the outlet end of the syringe (e.g., the open end of the syringe tip or of a pre-mounted needle (cannula)) to seal the distal outlet opening. The term "prefilled glass syringe", as used herein, refers to a prefilled syringe, of which at least the barrel is made of glass.

    [0036] Within the present invention, the prefilled syringe is preferably a Luer slip or Luer lock syringe equipped with a tip cap (if no needle is pre-mounted) or a needle shield (if the needle is pre-mounted). Within the meaning of the present invention, a "luer slip syringe" is a syringe that allows a needle to be pushed on to the end of the tip, whereas a "Luer-Lock syringe" is a syringe that allows a needle to be twisted onto the tip and then locked in place. This provides a secure connection and prevents accidental removal of the needles of the injection of fluids.

    [0037] The prefilled syringe according to the present invention is generally sterilized and, thus, ready-to-use. Further, the prefilled syringe described herein is usually intended for single use and intended to be disposable. Prior to sterilization, the syringe, more specifically the inner surface of the glass syringe barrel, is typically coated with a lubricant to ease gliding of the plunger stopper and extruding of the syringe content. Suitable methods for sterilization include, but are not limited to, gamma radiation, ethylene oxide (ETO) treatment and moist heat (e.g., autoclaving).

    [0038] In accordance with the present invention, the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation in the prefilled syringe contains the botulinum toxin at a concentration of, for example, 1 U/ml to 3000 U/ml, 10 U/ml to 1000 U/ml. Preferably, the botulinum toxin is present at a concentration of about 10 U/ml to 400 U/ml, more preferably about 25 U/ml to 200 U/ml, and most preferably about 40 U/ml to 150 U/ml (e.g., 50 U/ml, 75 U/ml or 100 U/ml).

    [0039] The term "botulinum toxin", as used herein, broadly refers to any form and type of botulinum toxin. In particular, the botulinum toxin may be selected from botulinum toxin types A, B, C1, D, E, F, G, or mixtures thereof. Within the context of the present invention, the botulinum toxin is preferably of serotype A, B or C1, in particular serotype A.

    [0040] Furthermore, the term "botulinum toxin", as used herein, is intended to include both the botulinum toxin complex (the "toxin complex") and the "neurotoxic component" of a botulinum toxin complex. As used herein, the term "botulinum toxin complex" or "toxin complex" refers to a high molecular weight complex comprising the neurotoxic component of approximately 150 kDa and, in addition, non-toxic proteins of Clostridium botulinum, including hemagglutinin and non-hemagglutinin proteins. The botulinum toxin serotype A complex is commercially available, for example, as Botox® (Allergan, Inc.) or as Dysport® (Ipsen, Ltd.).

    [0041] The term "neurotoxic component", as used herein, relates to the neurotoxic polypeptide of the toxin complex (the "150 kDa" polypeptide) without any associated non-toxic proteins. The pure neurotoxic component is, for example, commercially available under the trade names Xeomin® and Bocouture® (Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH). Within the present invention, the botulinum toxin is preferably the neurotoxic component of a botulinum toxin complex of, e.g., serotype A, B, C1 , in particular of a botulinum toxin complex of serotype A. In other words, the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation contained in the prefilled glass syringe preferably contains (only) said neurotoxic component and is devoid of any other protein of the Clostridium botulinum toxin complex.

    [0042] It is also contemplated that the present invention encompasses isoforms, homologs, orthologs and paralogs of botulinum toxin that show at least 50%, at least 60%, at least 70%, at least 80%, at least 90% and up to 60%, up to 70%, up to 80%, up to 90%, up to 100% sequence identity to wild-type botulinum toxin, e.g. wild-type botulinum toxin A or the neurotoxic component of botulinum toxin of serotype A1 deposited with the GenBank database under the accession number AAA23262. The sequence identity can be calculated by any algorithm suitable to yield reliable results, for example by using the FASTA algorithm (W.R. Pearson & D.J. Lipman PNAS (1988) 85:2444-2448). Sequence identity may be calculated by comparing two polypeptides or two domains such as two LC domains or fragments thereof.

    [0043] Modified and recombinant botulinum toxins are also within the scope of the present invention. With respect to suitable mutants, reference is made to WO 2006/027207, WO 2009/015840, WO 2006/114308, WO 2007/104567, WO 2010/022979, WO 2011/000929 and WO 2013/068476. Furthermore, the present invention also refers to botulinum toxins, which are chemically modified, e.g. by pegylation, glycosylation, sulfatation, phosphorylation or any other modification, in particular of one or more surface or solvent exposed amino acid(s). The modified, recombinant, isoforms, homologs, orthologs, paralogs and mutants suitable for use in the present invention are biologically active, i.e. able to translocate into neurons and cleave proteins of the SNARE complex (e.g., VAMP/syntaxin, synaptobrevin, and SNAP-25) to exert its acetylcholine inhibitory effects, e.g., its muscle paralyzing effects.

    [0044] Within the context of the present invention, the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation may comprise various other pharmaceutically acceptable substances, for example, salts (e.g., sodium chloride), stabilizing proteins (e.g., albumin, gelatin), sugars (e.g., glucose, fructose, galactose, trehalose, sucrose and maltose), carbohydrate polymers (e.g., hyaluronic acid and polyvinylpyrollidone (PVP)), polyols (e.g. glycerol and sugar alcohols like mannitol, inositol, lactilol, isomalt, xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol), amino acids, vitamins (e.g. vitamin C), zinc, magnesium, anesthetic agents (e.g., local anesthetic agents like lidocaine), surfactants, tonicity modifiers, and the like. The term "pharmaceutically acceptable", as used herein, refers to those compounds or substances which are suitable for contact with the tissues of mammals, especially humans.

    [0045] The term "comprise", as used herein, is intended to encompass both the open-ended term "include" and the closed term "consist (of)". The term "made of", as used herein, is intended to broadly relate to "produced of/from", in particular mainly produced from, and generally means "comprising" (indicating that other substances or materials may be included in some amounts). It may also mean "consisting of".

    [0046] The pH of the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation in the prefilled syringe is between 6.1 to 7.3, preferably between 6.2 to 7.2, 6.3 to 7.1 and 6.5 to 7.0, during storage. A pH within the range of 6.1 to 7.3 is advantageous in that injections of such neutral or only slightly acidic solutions are much less painful upon injection than acidic solutions.

    [0047] The term "aqueous formulation" or "aqueous botulinum toxin formulation", as used herein, is not particularly limited and may refer to an aqueous suspension, aqueous dispersion, aqueous emulsion and is preferably an aqueous solution.

    [0048] Preferably, the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation does not contain a buffer substance like a phosphate buffer, a phosphate-citrate buffer, a lactate buffer, an acetate buffer and the like. The term "buffer" as used herein denotes a pharmaceutically acceptable excipient, which stabilizes the pH of a pharmaceutical preparation. Furthermore, the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation may be free of amino acids (e.g., methionine) and/or surfactants (e.g., polysorbates such as polysorbate 80).

    [0049] A preferred aqueous botulinum toxin formulation for use herein comprises water, botulinum toxin (e.g., the neurotoxic component of botulinum toxin, preferably of type A) at a concentration such as 10 to 150 U/ml, a salt (e.g., sodium chloride) in a concentration such as 0.5% to 1.5 % w/v, a sugar (e.g., a mono- or disaccharide, such as glucose, fructose, galactose, trehalose, sucrose and maltose) at a concentration such as 0.1% to 2% w/v, and a stabilizing protein (e.g., albumin) at a concentration such as 0.01% to 4% w/v, 0.1% to 3% w/v, or 0.1% to 1% w/v.

    [0050] Another preferred aqueous botulinum formulation for use herein essentially consists of water, botulinum toxin (e.g. the neurotoxic component of botulinum toxin type A), sodium chloride, sucrose, and albumin (e.g., human serum albumin; HSA). The concentration of the mentioned components may be in the following ranges: 10 to 200 U/ml or 30 to 125 U/ml (botulinum toxin), 0.5% to 1.5% w/v or 0.7% to 1.1% w/v (sodium chloride), 0.1% to 2% w/v or 0.2% to 1% w/v (sucrose), 0.01% to 1% w/v, 0.05% to 0.5% w/v, 0.1% to 3% w/v or 0.5% to 1.5% w/v (HSA). A further preferred botulinum toxin formulation for use herein is a Xeomin® solution, e.g., reconstituted with physiological saline (0.9% sodium chloride), including 20 to 150 U/ml of the neurotoxic component of botulinum toxin type A.

    [0051] The term "essentially consists of", as used herein is intended to mean that substances other than those indicated are only contained in trace amounts, e.g. unavoidable impurities contained in the components used for formulating the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation, and low amounts of impurities included in the isolated botulinum toxin (e.g., the neurotoxic component of botulinum toxin type A) as a result of the purification procedure (e.g., very low residual amounts of buffers, chelating agents and the like).

    [0052] In accordance with the present invention, the configuration of the prefilled syringe is not particularly limited and commonly comprises a fluid-receiving barrel that, after filling, is removably capped by a capping device to sealingly close the distal end of the syringe (e.g., by a "cap" (or "tip cap") that is removed and replaced by a needle prior to use, or a sealing means like a needle shield in case of a syringe with a removable or permanent needle), and is closed at the proximal end by its plunger or any other means that is in fluid-tight engagement with the inner wall of the barrel. To use the prefilled syringe, the tip cap, needle shield or other type of capping device are removed, optionally a needle is attached (if not already present), and the plunger tip or piston is advanced in the barrel to inject the contents of the barrel into a patient.

    [0053] The prefilled glass syringe according to the present invention comprises:
    1. (a) a syringe barrel made of glass including a proximal end and a distal end, and a generally cylindrical wall extending therebetween and defining a barrel lumen, the syringe barrel having a distally projecting tip with a fluid passage extending therethrough and communicating with the barrel lumen, wherein the generally cylindrical wall has an interior surface coated with a barrier layer,
    2. (b) a capping device having an outlet engaging portion sealingly engaging and closing the distal open outlet end of the syringe, wherein the outlet engaging portion is made of an elastomeric material, and
    3. (c) a plunger rod assembly which extends into the proximal end of the syringe barrel and includes a plunger stopper in sliding fluid-tight engagement with the cylindrical wall of the barrel lumen, wherein the plunger stopper is made of an elastomeric material, which has a coating on at least a portion of the plunger stopper that contacts the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation during storage and/or injection.


    [0054] Generally, primary container closure systems, including components such as syringe barrels, sealing devices (e.g., tip caps or needle shields) and plungers, have the potential to interact with the drug formulation in the prefilled syringe. This may lead to the release of extractables/leachables from the syringe materials that contact the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation. The extractables/leachables have the potential to contaminate the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation and to impair the stability or activity of the botulinum toxin. Therefore, the materials of the prefilled syringe are generally selected to minimize or limit the amount of extractables and leachables.

    [0055] As used herein, the terms "extractable(s)" and "leachable(s)" refer to chemical species that can be released from a container or component of material of the prefilled syringe and/or has migrated from syringe materials into the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation under normal conditions of use or storage. Methods for identification of extractables/leachables are known in the art and based on recommended industry practices and International Conference for Harmonisation (ICH) guidelines (see FDA guidance, Container Closure Systems for Packaging Human Drugs and Biologics), and include, e.g., Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrophotometry (LC/MS), Gas Chromatography Spectroscopy/Mass Spectrophotometry (GC/MS), Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) and Infrared (IR).

    [0056] The inside surface of the glass barrel is coated with a lubricant layer (herein also referred to, and interchangeably used with, the term "barrier layer" or "barrier coating"). The lubricant layer should not only provide high lubricity, enabling the plunger to easily glide through the barrel, but also be compatible with the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation and protect its shelf life. Within the context of the present invention, the lubricant layer is a silicone lubricant layer.

    [0057] A suitable silicone lubricant layer for use herein may be prepared by a siliconization method selected from, but not limited to, silicone oil-based methods (e.g., spray-on siliconization or baked-on siliconization) and vapor deposition methods (e.g., plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD)). Preferably, the silicone lubricant layer is formed by spray-on siliconization or, more preferably, by baked-on siliconization.

    [0058] In the spray-on siliconization method, a silicone oil (e.g. DOW CORNING® 360 with a viscosity of 1000 cSt) is sprayed into the syringe (i.e. the barrel) using, e.g., a diving or static nozzle to produce a thin silicone oil layer. While silicone oil is an excellent lubricant, excess silicone oil can lead to the formation of unwanted visual and subvisual silicone oil particles. With protein-based drugs, in particular, these silicone oil particles may lead to undesirable interactions with protein drugs. For example, subvisual silicone oil particles are thought to promote protein aggregation. Therefore, since it results in fewer sub-visual and visual silicone oil particles, the baked-on siliconization processes is particularly preferred for use herein. It involves the application of silicone oil as an emulsion (e.g., DOW CORNING® 365 siliconization emulsion), which is then baked on the glass surface at a specific temperature and for a specific time.

    [0059] The design of the syringe barrel is not particularly limited and typically has an inside diameter adjusted to accommodate the desired fill volume of, e.g., 0.5 cm3, 1.0 cm3, 1.5 cm3 or 2.0 cm3. Usually, the syringe barrel has graduated marks indicating the volume of fluid in the syringe. In addition, the syringe barrel may include a flange-style interface. The design of the flange may, for example, be compatible with ISO11040. The flange-style interface may further be compatible with an optionally present handle. Furthermore, in case of a Luer-Lock syringe, the syringe may be equipped with a Luer-Lock adaptor of, e.g., polycarbonate.

    [0060] The syringe tip is usually integrally formed with the syringe barrel. The tip is formed with an integral passage extending axially through the tip and being in communication with the chamber for dispensing the contents of the syringe barrel. The tip may have a substantially frustoconical shape that converges from the distal outlet end of the syringe barrel towards the tip's outlet end. Alternatively, the tip may be characterized as divergent (i.e., expanding from a smaller diameter to a larger one). Furthermore, the tip is usually located centrally in relation to the body of the syringe (concentric syringe tip) but may also be located offset towards the edge of the body (eccentric syringe tip).

    [0061] The "capping device" within the meaning of the present invention broadly refers to any means for closing and sealing the open outlet end of a syringe. Within the present invention, the term "open outlet end" refers to any distal open end of a syringe that is in fluid communication with the barrel lumen. The capping device generally has a channel with a closed end and an open end having a dimension for receiving and efficiently sealing the open outlet end of the syringe to prevent leakage.

    [0062] In case of prefilled syringes without pre-mounted needles, the capping device is a capping means commonly known as "tip cap". The tip cap forms a fluid-tight seal with the tip of the syringe to efficiently close the syringe barrel and to prevent leakage of the contents of the syringe barrel. The tip cap is usually removable coupled to the syringe tip or a luer collar. The luer collar surrounds the top of the syringe barrel (e.g., syringe tip). Preferably, the luer collar has internal threads and the tip cap has external threads complementing said internal threads of said luer collar for coupling the tip cap to the syringe barrel. The luer collar is typically a separately molded luer collar that is mounted directly to the tip of the syringe barrel, e.g., by a snap or interference fit. Prior to use, the tip can be removed, and a needle cannula (or needle/needle assembly) can then be securely coupled to the syringe tip.

    [0063] If the prefilled syringe includes a removable or non-removable (permanent) cannula (also referred to as "needle" or "needle assembly") extending from the syringe tip for delivering the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation from said syringe, the capping device may be referred to as "needle shield". Said needle shield generally has a channel with a closed end and an open end having a dimension for receiving and coupling with the cannula (needle) mounted on the tip of the syringe. Typically, the (sharpened) end of the cannula penetrates the closed end of the channel in the needle shield to seal the open end of the cannula.

    [0064] The capping device (e.g., tip cap or needle shield) may be a unitary member and is usually made from a flexible and/or resilient polymeric material (e.g., an elastomer), at least a portion of which contacts and seals the distal opening of the syringe (referred to as the "outlet engaging portion"). Alternatively, the capping device may have an outer cap made of a rigid plastic material that is coupled to a flexible and/or resilient inner cap made of a flexible and resilient polymeric material (e.g., an elastomer), wherein at least a portion of the inner cap contacts and seals the distal opening of the syringe (referred to as the "outlet engaging portion").

    [0065] In view of the fact that the outlet engaging portion contacts the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation during storage and/or use, it is preferably made of a material having a minimized potential for unwanted extractables/leachables. To this end, the outlet engaging portion may have a coating thereon to increase compatibility with the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation.

    [0066] Suitable flexible and/or resilient materials of the capping device, in particular of the outlet engaging portion, include elastomers that do not interfere with the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation and enable long-term storage. In particular, the part of the sealing device that contacts the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation, i.e. the outlet engaging portion, should exhibit low extractable/leachable levels during prolonged storage of the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation. As used herein, the term "elastomeric" or "elastomeric material" refers primarily to crosslinked thermosetting rubbery polymers that are more easily deformable than plastics but that are approved for use with pharmaceutical grade fluids and are not readily susceptible to leaching or gas migration.

    [0067] The elastomeric material is selected from styrene-butadiene rubber free of 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT) and a mixture of isoprene rubber (IS) and bromo butyl rubber. The elastomeric material may also be reinforced with an inert mineral. Further, it may be cured (e.g., with organic peroxide, phenolic resins, etc.).

    [0068] Suitable coatings that may be optionally present on the elastomeric material are made of a material that does not undesirably interfere with the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation and exhibits low levels of extractables/leachables. A preferred example of such a coating is a coating made of a fluoropolymer, i.e. a fluorocarbon coating. Other suitable coatings for use herein include, for example, polypropylene, polyethylene, parylene (e.g., parylene N, parylene C and parylene HT), and crosslinked silicone (e.g., the the B2-coating (Daikyo Seiko) or XSi™ (Becton Dickinson)).

    [0069] The fluoropolymer coatings include, but are not limited to, fluorinated ethylene-propylene copolymers (e.g., tetrafluoroethylene-hexafluoropropylene copolymer (FEP)), fluorinated ethylene-ethylene copolymers (e.g., ethylene tetrafluoroethylene copolymer (ETFE), such as FluroTec®), PVA (a copolymer of tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) and perfluoropropylvinylether (PPVE)), tetrafluoroethylene-perfluoroethylene copolymers, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polyvinyl fluoride (PVF), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and mixtures thereof. Preferably, the coating is made of ETFE and, particulary, is a FluroTec® coating.

    [0070] In accordance with the present invention, the prefilled syringe commonly includes a plunger rod assembly, which extends into the proximal end of the syringe barrel. The plunger rod assembly may include a rod (also known as pushrod) with a plunger stopper at its tip (also known as "plunger") in sliding fluid-tight engagement with the cylindrical wall of the barrel lumen. The plunger forms the proximal seal and the dynamic seal that allows for extrusion of the liquid botulinum toxin formulation. The plunger stopper contacts the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation during storage and/or administration. Therefore, the plunger stopper should be compatible with the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation and not impair its long-term stability. In particular, the plunger stopper should preferably be designed to minimize the amount of extractables/leachables upon long-time storage.

    [0071] Within the present invention, the plunger stopper is preferably made of an elastomeric material, which has a coating on at least a portion of the plunger stopper that contacts the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation during storage and/or use. A suitable plunger stopper elastomeric material for use herein is a bromo butyl rubber. The elastomeric material may also be reinforced with an inert mineral. Further, it may be cured (e.g., with organic peroxide, phenolic resins, etc.).

    [0072] The plunger stopper comprises a coating acting as a barrier film. The coating is usually applied to at least the seal surfaces, including the surface portion of the plunger stopper facing the barrel lumen and contacting the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation during storage and/or use. The coating serves the purpose of minimizing interaction between the plunger and the liquid botulinum toxin formulation and to provide good lubricity.

    [0073] Suitable coatings of the plunger stopper are generally made of a material that does not undesirably interfere with the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation and exhibits low levels of extractables/leachables.

    [0074] Within the present invention the coating of the plunger stopper is a fluorinated ethylene-ethylene copolymer (e.g., ethylene tetrafluoroethylene copolymer (ETFE), such as FluroTec®).Preferably, the coating is a FluroTec® coating.

    [0075] The design of the plunger stopper is not particularly limited and may be a nested or bagged stopper. Further, the interface to the rod may be threaded to allow installation of the rod after sterilization. Alternatively, the interface to the rod may be designed with a snap-on design. The rod, like the plunger stopper, is generally designed to withstand sterilization but is not otherwise limited in any particular way. Typically, the rod is made of a plastic material such as an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer or a polypropylene.

    [0076] The rubber stopper of the carpule of the present invention may be made of the same elastomeric materials as described above in connection with the plunger stopper of the glass syringe. Also, the rubber stopper of the carpule may have the same optional coating as defined above with respect to the coating on the plunger stopper. Further, the coating may be on at least a portion of the rubber stopper that contacts the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation during storage and/or use.

    [0077] The prefilled syringe of the present invention meets the industry standard with regard to extractables, such as defined by the foaming test, pH test, potassium permanganate-reducing substances test, UV spectrum test and residue on evaporation test according to The Japanese Pharmacopoeia, No. 61, Test Methods for Plastic Containers (2001). Furthermore, the prefilled syringe and the respective component before and after sterilization satisfy the standards of The Japanese Pharmacopoeia, 14thEdition, No. 59, Test for Rubber Closure for Aqueous Infusions.

    [0078] In another aspect, the present invention relates to a kit comprising a prefilled glass syringe according to the present invention and, optionally, instructions for use of said prefilled glass syringe.

    [0079] Further described herein is a prefilled glass syringe according to the present invention, which may be used in the treatment of a disease or condition caused by or associated with hyperactive cholinergic innervation of muscles or exocrine glands in a patient. However, it should be pointed out that the use of the prefilled glass syringe for therapeutic uses or in a therapeutic method is not according to the present invention.

    [0080] The term "hyperactive cholinergic innervation", as used herein, relates to a synapse, which is characterized by an unusually high amount of acetylcholine release into the synaptic cleft. "Unusually high" relates to an increase of, e.g., up to 25%, up to 50% or more with respect to a reference activity which may be obtained, for example, by comparing the release with the release at a synapse of the same type but which is not in a hyperactive state, wherein muscle dystonia may be indicative of the hyperactive state. "Up to 25%" means, for example, about 1% to about 25%. Methods for performing the required measurements are known in the art.

    [0081] Diseases or conditions caused by or associated with hyperactive cholinergic innervation of muscles includes, but is not limited to, dystonias (e.g., blepharospasm, spasmodic torticollis, limb dystonia, and task-specifc dystonias such as writer's cramps), spasticities (e.g., post-stroke spasticity, spasticity caused by cerebral palsy), paratonia, diskinesias (e.g., tardive diskinesia) focal spasms (e.g., hemifacial spasm), (juvenile) cerebral palsy (e.g., spastic, dyskinetic or ataxic cerebral palsy), strabismus, pain (e.g. neuropathic pain), wound healing, tremors, tics, and migraine.

    [0082] In still another aspect, the present invention relates to the use of the prefilled glass syringe of the present invention for cosmetic applications, such as for treating facial asymmetries and wrinkles and lines of the skin (e.g., facial lines and facial wrinkles), such as upper facial rhytides, platysma bands, glabellar frown lines, nasolabial folds, chin folds, marionette lines, buccal commissures, perioral wrinkles, crow's feet, and jawlines. Preferably, the prefilled botulinum toxin syringe of the present invention is used for injection into glabellar frown lines, horizontal forehead lines, crow's feet, perioral folds, mental ceases, popply chin, and/or platysmal bands.

    [0083] The amounts of botulinum toxin administered for cosmetic application are usually in the range of 1 to 5 U, 5 to 10 U, 10 to 20 U or 20 to 50 U. Such total amounts may be administered on the same day or on a subsequent day of treatment. For example, during a first treatment session a first fraction of the dose may be administered. This first fraction is preferably a suboptimal fraction, i.e. a fraction, which does not remove the wrinkles or skin lines completely. During one or more treatment sessions, the remaining fraction of the total dose may be administered.

    [0084] Further described herein is a method for the cosmetic treatment of the skin, such as for treating wrinkles of the skin and facial asymmetries, the method comprising locally administering an effective amount of botulinum toxin to a patient by intradermal, subdermal or subcutaneous injection using the prefilled glass syringe according to the first aspect of the present invention.

    [0085] The present invention will now be further illustrated by the following, nonlimiting examples.

    EXAMPLES



    [0086] The following examples demonstrate the superior long-term stability of an aqueous botulinum toxin formulation in different prefilled syringe systems (in the following referred to as "configurations") according to the present invention.

    [0087] The results obtained for the different syringe configurations surprisingly show that, contrary to expectation and common belief in the art, an aqueous botulinum toxin formulation stored in a prefilled syringe system is stable for a prolonged time period (e.g., up to 18 months) at standard refrigerator temperature (2-8°C) and is even stable when stored for about 9 months at an elevated temperature of 25°C. Furthermore, extrapolation of the measured stability data indicates that the prefilled botulinum toxin syringe allows the provision of a shelf life at 2-8°C of about 24 months and even longer.

    [0088] Overall, the results obtained show that botulinum toxin can be conveniently used via prefilled syringes. This is an important contribution to the management of a wide variety of botulinum toxin-treated therapeutic and cosmetic indications since botulinum toxin prefilled syringes are safer and more convenient to use for clinicians and patients compared to conventional lyophilized botulinum toxin products, and offer flexibility and excellent shelf life.

    MATERIALS & METHODS



    [0089] The liquid botulinum toxin formulation used in the following examples was prepared by dissolving 1.0 mg human albumin, 4.7 mg sucrose and incobotulinumtoxinA in 0.9% saline to a concentration of 50 U/ml.

    [0090] The botulinum toxin solution was then filled into a syringe glass barrel preassembled with a Luer-Lock-type closure comprising a Luer-Lock adaptor and a tip cap which, when fitted, contacts the opening of the distal syringe tip in order to seal the syringe barrel. A plunger stopper was inserted into the proximal end portion of the barrel in order to close the proximal opening. The resulting prefilled syringe was then stored at a temperature of about 5°C, 25°C, and 30°C.

    [0091] The stability of the botulinum toxin solution was determined initially and after a storage time of one month, three months, six months and nine months by measuring the remaining toxin potency, the pH value, and the subvisible particles level.

    [0092] The potency was determined using a hemidiaphragm assay. The assay is conducted using a murine nerve muscle preparation which is maintained in an organ bath containing 4 ml of medium. The muscle is attached to a force transducer and electrically stimulated via the phrenic nerve resulting in a isometric contraction force which remains constant for more than 180 min if no toxin is added. Upon introduction of toxin to the organ bath, the contraction amplitude of the nerve-stimulated muscle gradually declines. The contraction amplitude of the diaphragm is monitored over time. As a read-out, the time at which half the initial contraction force is reached is determined and referred to as paralysis time. The paralysis time is proportional to the amount of active toxin added to the preparation.

    [0093] The pH measurements were performed in accordance with the US Pharmacopeia standardized test method USP <791>, which outlines pH measurements for a multitude of pharmaceutical product, using a pH meter (Lab 870, Schott Instruments).

    [0094] Particle measurements were conducted using Micro-Flow Imaging. The Micro-Flow Imaging measurements were conducted using a DPA-5200 particle analyzer system (ProteinSimple, Santa Clara, CA, USA) equipped with a silane coated high-resolution 100 µm flow cell. The samples were analyzed undiluted. MFI View System Software (MVSS) version 2-R2-6.1.20.1915 was used to perform the measurements, and MFI View Analysis Suite (MVAS) software version 1.3.0.1007 was used to analyze the samples.

    [0095] Four different prefilled syringe systems (or "syringe configurations"), which differ from each other by the syringe barrel, tip cap and/or plunger stopper, were examined and are summarized in Table 1.
    Table 1. Syringe configurations A, B, G, and H studied
    CO-NF.CO-MP.SYRINGE BARRELTIP CAPPLUNGER STOPPER
    Product nameMaterialProduct nameMaterialProduct NameMaterial
    A GH1 RTF® 1.0 ml long Luer Lock syringe with TELC4 Borosilicate glass of type 1; inner surface of glass barrel is siliconized by "Baked on Siliconization"3; sterilized by EtO Helvoet® FM 27 Grey1 Styrene-butadiene rubber compound (free from MBT(2-mercaptobenzothiazole)) West® 4023/50 Gray with FluroTec ® coating Bromobutyl elastomer reinforced with an inert mineral and coated with a FluroTec® film
    B GH1 RTF® 1.0 ml long Luer Lock syringe with TELC4 See Config. A Helvoet® FM 27 grey1 See Config. A West® 4023/50G NovaPure® Elastomer formulation coated with FluroTec® barrier film
    G BD2 BD Hypak SCF™ 1 ml PRTC6 Borosilicate type I glass; inner surface of glass barrel is siliconized using a silicone oil; sterilized by EtO (ethylene oxide) PRTC FM 27 Grey5 Styrene-butadiene rubber compound (free from MBT) BD Hypak™ BSCF 4023/50 grey FluroTec ®(West®)7 Bromobutyl elastomer reinforced with an inert mineral and coated with a FluroTec® film
    H BD2 BD Hypak SCF™ 1 ml PRTC6 See Config. G PRTC 7025/65 grey (West®)5 Synthetic isoprene-bromobutyl blend reinforced with an inert mineral BD Hypak™ BSCF 4023/50 grey FluroTec ®(West®)7 See Config. G
    1 = Gerresheimer
    2 = Becton, Dickinson and Company
    3 = Use of Dow Corning® 365, Dimethicone NF emulsion
    4 = TELC (tamper evident Luerock Closure)
    5 = PRTC (plastic rigid tip cap)
    6 = SCF (sterile, clean and ready-to-fill
    7 = BSCF (bagged sterile, clean and ready-to fill; utilizes bagged (BSCF) stoppers)

    RESULTS



    [0096] The results of the stability measurements for configurations A, B, G, and H are shown in Table 2 below.
    Table 2. Stability in terms of potency
    CONFIG.STABILITY
    (toxin potency in %, relative to the initial toxin activity)
    TemperatureTime (months)
    t = 0 (initial)*13691218
    A 2-8°C 100 102 102 100 107 109 88
    B 100 109 96 102 102 96 109
    G 100 100 100 96 91 102 96
    H 100 100 114 102 112 100 108
    A 25°C 100 98 102 107 93 89 73
    B 100 102 100 107 94 107 87
    G 100 93 104 96 98 98 75
    H 100 108 116 100 90 80 73
    A 30°C 100 84 91 80 -- -- --
    B 100 106 93 87 -- -- --
    G 100 88 93 84 -- -- --
    H 100 92 114 94 -- -- --
    * = The initial absolute toxin activity in units ranges from 51 U to 56 U.


    [0097] The above stability data are, together with an extrapolation to a storage time of 24 months, graphically shown in FIG. 1 (stability at 2-8°C), FIG. 2 (stability at 25°C), and FIG. 3 (stability at 30°C). As can be seen from Table 2 and FIGS. 1-3, the maximum measured loss of biological activity is only 12%, 20%, and 20% for the temperature conditions 2-8°C (up to 18 months), 25°C (up to 12 months), and 30°C (up to 6 months), respectively. Extrapolations indicate that the loss in biological activity after a storage time of 24 months is less than 5% at 2-8°C for all configurations A, B, G, and H, and less than 10% at 25°C for configuration B.

    [0098] Furthermore, the pH measurements revealed that the pH remained exceptionally stable over a period of up to 18 months. No trend towards higher or lower values was observed and all measured pH values remained within ±0.5 of the initial pH (see Table 3).
    Table 3. Stability in terms of pH
    CONFIG.STABILITY
    (pH)
    TemperatureTime (months)
    t = 0 (initial)13691218
    A 2-8°C 6.8 6.8 7.0 7.1 6.5 n.d.* 6.8
    B 7.0 6.7 6.9 6.9 6.6 n.d. 6.7
    G 6.8 6.7 6.7 6.8 6.6 n.d. 6.7
    H 6.4 6.2 6.6 6.4 6.9 6.6 n.d.
    A 25°C 6.8 6.8 7.0 7.0 6.6 6.9 6.5
    B 7.0 6.7 6.9 7.0 6.7 7.0 6.7
    G 6.8 6.7 6.7 6.8 6.7 6.8 7.0
    H 6.4 6.3 6.8 6.6 6.7 6.6 n.d.
    A 30°C 6.8 6.8 7.0 7.0 -- -- --
    B 7.0 6.8 6.9 7.1 -- -- --
    G 6.8 6.8 6.7 6.9 -- -- --
    H 6.4 6.4 6.8 6.6 -- -- --
    *n.d. = not determined


    [0099] Moreover, the particle size measurements by Micro-Flow Imaging showed no significant increase in the particle count (see Table 4).
    Table 4. Stability in terms of the subvisible particle count
    CONFIG.STABILITY
    (subvisible particle count (equal to or greater than 10 µm))
    TemperatureTime (months)
    t = 0 (initial)13691218
    A 2-8°C 27 63 14 27 69 64 162
    B 69 80 26 9 64 27 58
    G 18 101 48 125 133 83 351
    H 545 139 59 163 223 n.d. n.d.
    A 25°C 27 74 25 43 5 53 127
    B 69 22 11 15 129 146 143
    G 18 176 110 67 105 81 378
    H 545 345 227 86 756 327 n.d.
    A 30°C 27 27 15 53 -- -- --
    B 69 42 30 89 -- -- --
    G 18 78 89 90 -- -- --
    H 545 475 150 396 -- -- --


    [0100] As can be seen from Table 4, the particle counts stay well below 1000/ml and in most cases even below 200/ml. Likewise, particle measurements by means of the resonant mass measurement method (using the ARCHIMEDES particle methodology system; Affinity Biosensors, Santa Barbara, CA, USA) and nanoparticle tracking analysis (using a NanoSight LM20 system; NanoSight, Amesbury, UK) revealed no relevant particle counts.

    [0101] In conclusion, the results presented above show that liquid botulinum toxin formulations in prefilled syringes are stable for a prolonged period at temperatures of 2-8°C and even at ambient temperatures (e.g., 25°C to 30°C). In view of the fact that botulinum toxins are inherently instable, in particular at low toxin concentrations, this finding was unexpected. In particular, botulinum toxins are known to be highly heat-labile and highly unstable at alkaline pH. Therefore, given the labile nature of botulinum toxins, the finding that botulinum toxin in aqueous solution is highly stable, when stored in prefilled syringes, was highly surprising.

    [0102] The botulinum toxin prefilled syringe according to the present invention therefore offers significant advantages over other ways to deliver botulinum toxin, including enhancing convenience and ease of handling, reducing medication errors, improving dosing accuracy, minimizing the risk of contamination, improving sterility assurance, and increasing safety in administration.


    Claims

    1. A prefilled glass syringe comprising an aqueous botulinum toxin formulation, the glass syringe comprising

    (a) a syringe barrel made of glass including a proximal end and a distal end, and a generally cylindrical wall extending therebetween and defining a barrel lumen, the syringe barrel having a distally projecting tip with a fluid passage extending therethrough and communicating with the barrel lumen, wherein the generally cylindrical wall has an interior surface coated with a barrier layer,

    (b) a capping device having an outlet engaging portion sealingly engaging and closing the distal open outlet end of the syringe, wherein the outlet engaging portion is made of an elastomeric material, and

    (c) a plunger rod assembly which extends into the proximal end of the syringe barrel and includes a plunger stopper in sliding fluid-tight engagement with the cylindrical wall of the barrel lumen, wherein the plunger stopper is made of an elastomeric material, which has a coating on at least a portion of the plunger stopper that contacts the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation during storage and/or injection,

    wherein the barrier layer of the syringe barrel is a silicone layer,
    wherein the elastomeric material of the outlet engaging portion is selected from styrene-butadiene rubber free of 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT) and a mixture of isoprene rubber (IS) and bromo butyl rubber,
    wherein the elastomeric material of the plunger stopper is a bromo butyl rubber,
    wherein the coating on the plunger stopper is a fluorinated ethylene-ethylene copolymer coating,
    wherein the biological activity of the botulinum toxin expressed in Mouse Units (MU) is not reduced by more than 25%, relative to the initial toxin activity, upon storage of the prefilled syringe for 12 months at 5°C or 12 months at 25°C, and
    wherein the pH of the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation is between 6.1 and 7.3 during storage, and
    wherein the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation comprises human albumin and sodium chloride.
     
    2. The prefilled glass syringe of claim 1, wherein the number of subvisible particles of equal to or greater than 10 µm is below 1000/ml during storage for 6 to 24 months at 2°C to 30°C.
     
    3. The prefilled glass syringe of claim 1 or 2, wherein the pH value is not increased or decreased by more than 10%, relative to the initial pH value, upon storage of the prefilled syringe for 6 to 12 months at 5°C or 25°C or 30°C.
     
    4. The prefilled glass syringe of any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the botulinum toxin is present in the aqueous formulation at a concentration of 10 U/ml to 1000 U/ml.
     
    5. The prefilled glass syringe of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the aqueous botulinum toxin formulation in the prefilled syringe does not contain a buffer.
     
    6. A kit comprising a prefilled glass syringe according to any one of claims 1 to 5 and, optionally, instructions for use of said prefilled glass syringe.
     
    7. Use of the prefilled glass syringe of any one of claims 1 to 5 for use in cosmetic applications.
     
    8. The use of claim 7, wherein the prefilled glass syringe of any one of claims 1 to 5 is used for treating wrinkles of the skin and facial asymmetries.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Vorgefüllte Glasspritze, umfassend eine wässrige Botulinumtoxinformulierung, wobei die Glasspritze Folgendes umfasst:

    (a) einen Spritzenzylinder aus Glas mit einem proximalen Ende und einem distalen Ende und einer allgemein zylindrischen Wand, die sich dazwischen erstreckt und ein Zylinderlumen definiert, wobei der Spritzenzylinder eine distal vorstehende Spitze mit einem Fluiddurchgang, der sich durch diesen erstreckt und mit dem Zylinderlumen in Verbindung steht, aufweist, wobei die allgemein zylindrische Wand eine Innenfläche aufweist, die mit einer Sperrschicht beschichtet ist,

    (b) eine Verschließvorrichtung mit einem Auslass-Eingriffsabschnitt, der das distale, offene Auslassende der Spritze versiegelt und schließt, wobei der Auslass-Eingriffsabschnitt aus einem Elastomermaterial besteht, und

    (c) eine Kolbenstangenanordnung, die sich in das proximale Ende des Spritzenzylinders erstreckt und einen Kolbenstopfen in gleitender, flüssigkeitsdichter Verbindung mit der zylindrischen Wand des Zylinderlumens umfasst, wobei der Kolbenstopfen aus einem elastomeren Material besteht, das eine Beschichtung auf mindestens einem Teil des Kolbenstopfens, der die wässrige Botulinumtoxinformulierung während der Lagerung und/oder Injektion berührt, aufweist;

    wobei die Barriereschicht des Spritzenzylinders eine Silikonschicht ist,
    wobei das Elastomermaterial des Auslass-Eingriffsabschnitts ausgewählt ist aus Styrol-Butadien-Kautschuk, der frei von 2-Mercaptobenzothiazol (MBT) ist, und einer Mischung aus Isopren-Kautschuk (IS) und Brombutylkautschuk,
    wobei das Elastomermaterial des Kolbenstopfens ein Brombutylkautschuk ist, wobei die Beschichtung auf dem Kolbenstopfen eine fluorierte Ethylen-Ethylen-Copolymerbeschichtung ist,
    wobei die in Mauseinheiten (Mouse Units) (MU) ausgedrückte biologische Aktivität des Botulinumtoxins bei einer Lagerung der Fertigspritze für 12 Monate bei 5 °C oder 12 Monate bei 25 °C gegenüber der anfänglichen Toxinaktivität um nicht mehr als 25 % verringert ist,
    wobei der pH-Wert der wässrigen Botulinumtoxinformulierung während der Lagerung zwischen 6,1 und 7,3 liegt und
    wobei die wässrige Botulinumtoxinformulierung menschliches Albumin und Natriumchlorid umfasst.
     
    2. Vorgefüllte Glasspritze nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Anzahl von nicht sichtbaren Partikeln von 10 µm oder mehr während der Lagerung für 6 bis 24 Monate bei 2 °C bis 30 °C unter 1000/mL liegt.
     
    3. Vorgefüllte Glasspritze nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei sich der pH-Wert bei Lagerung der vorgefüllten Spritze für 6 bis 12 Monate bei 5 °C oder 25 °C oder 30 °C um nicht mehr als 10 % gegenüber dem anfänglichen pH-Wert erhöht oder verringert.
     
    4. Vorgefüllte Glasspritze nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei das Botulinumtoxin in der wässrigen Formulierung in einer Konzentration von 10 U/mL bis 1000 U/mL vorhanden ist.
     
    5. Vorgefüllte Glasspritze nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei die wässrige Botulinumtoxinformulierung in der vorgefüllten Spritze keinen Puffer enthält.
     
    6. Kit, umfassend eine vorgefüllte Glasspritze nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5 und gegebenenfalls Anweisungen zur Verwendung der vorgefüllten Glasspritze.
     
    7. Verwendung der vorgefüllten Glasspritze nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5 zur Verwendung in kosmetischen Anwendungen.
     
    8. Verwendung nach Anspruch 7, wobei die vorgefüllte Glasspritze nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5 zur Behandlung von Hautfalten und Gesichtsasymmetrien verwendet wird.
     


    Revendications

    1. Seringue en verre préremplie comprenant une formulation aqueuse de toxine botulinique, la seringue en verre comprenant

    (a) un corps de seringue en verre incluant une extrémité proximale et une extrémité distale, et une paroi généralement cylindrique s'étendant entre les deux et définissant une lumière de corps, le corps de seringue ayant un embout faisant saillie à partir de l'extrémité distale et un passage de fluide s'étendant à travers celui-ci et communiquant avec la lumière de corps, dans laquelle la paroi généralement cylindrique a une face intérieure revêtue d'une couche barrière,

    (b) un dispositif de fermeture ayant une partie d'engagement de sortie coopérant de manière étanche et fermant l'extrémité de sortie ouverte distale de la seringue, dans laquelle la partie d'engagement de sortie est en matériau élastomère, et

    (c) un ensemble de tige de piston qui s'étend à travers l'extrémité proximale du corps de seringue et qui inclut un bouchon-piston conçue pour coulisser à l'intérieur de la paroi cylindrique de la lumière de corps de manière étanche aux fluides, dans laquelle le bouchon-piston est en matériau élastomère, qui a un revêtement en contact avec la formulation aqueuse de toxine botulinique pendant le stockage et/ou l'injection sur au moins une partie du bouchon-piston,

    dans laquelle la couche barrière du corps de seringue est une couche silicone,
    dans laquelle le matériau élastomère de la partie d'engagement de sortie est choisi parmi le caoutchouc styrène-butadiène exempt de 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT) et un mélange de caoutchouc isoprène (IS) et de caoutchouc bromobutyle,
    dans laquelle le matériau élastomère du bouchon-piston est un caoutchouc bromobutyle,
    dans laquelle le revêtement sur le bouchon-piston est un revêtement copolymère d'éthylène-éthylène fluoré,
    dans laquelle l'activité biologique de la toxine botulinique exprimée en unité-souris (MU) n'est pas diminuée de plus de 25%, par rapport à l'activité initiale de la toxine, lors du stockage de la seringue préremplie pendant 12 mois à 5°C ou 12 mois à 25°C, et
    dans laquelle le pH de la formulation aqueuse de toxine botulinique est compris entre 6.1 et 7.3 pendant le stockage, et
    dans laquelle la formulation aqueuse de toxine botulinique comprend de l'albumine humaine et du chlorure de sodium.
     
    2. Seringue en verre préremplie selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle le nombre de particules subvisibles égales ou supérieures à 10 µm est inférieur à 1000/ml pendant un stockage de 6 à 24 mois de 2°C à 30°C.
     
    3. Seringue en verre préremplie selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans laquelle la valeur de pH n'est ni augmentée ni diminuée de plus de 10%, par rapport à la valeur de pH initiale, lors du stockage de la seringue préremplie pendant 6 à 12 mois à 5°C ou 25°C ou 30°C.
     
    4. Seringue en verre préremplie selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, dans laquelle la toxine botulinique est présente dans la formulation aqueuse à une concentration de 10U/ml à 1000 U/ml.
     
    5. Seringue en verre préremplie selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans laquelle la formulation aqueuse de toxine botulinique dans la seringue préremplie ne contient pas un tampon.
     
    6. Kit comprenant une seringue en verre préremplie selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5 et, éventuellement, des instructions d'utilisation de ladite seringue en verre préremplie.
     
    7. Utilisation de la seringue en verre préremplie selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5 pour son utilisation dans des applications cosmétiques.
     
    8. Utilisation selon la revendication 7, dans laquelle la seringue en verre préremplie selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5 est utilisée pour le traitement des rides de la peau et les asymétries faciales.
     




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    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