Valero-fenbendazole (VAL-FBZ) is a novel hybrid compound with in vitro anthelmintic activity, designed and synthesized to address the global problem of resistance to anthelmintic compounds. This new molecule derives from fenbendazole (FBZ), a well-known commercially available benzimidazole used in veterinary medicine despite its poor water solubility. In this work, we report for the first time a strategy to solve the solubility problems of FBZ and VAL-FBZ by means of self-dispersible nanocrystals (SDNC). Nanocrystals were prepared by media milling followed by a spray-drying step, and a comprehensive and exhaustive structural and physicochemical characterization was carried out, in order to understand the systems and their behavior. The formulation poloxamer 188 (P188):FBZ 1:1 turned out with the best process yield (53%) and re-dispersability properties, particle size average of 258 nm, and polydispersity index of 0.2 after redispersion in water. The dissolution profile showed a markedly increased dissolution rate compared with the simple mixture of the components (80% FBZ dissolved in 15 min from the SDNC vs 14% from the control formulation). FTIR spectroscopy, thermal analysis, and X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD) studies showed no chemical interactions between components and an extensive confocal Raman microscopy analysis of the formulations showed very homogeneous spatial distribution of components in the SDNC samples. This manufacturing process was then successfully transferred for preparing and characterizing VAL-FBZ:P188 (1:1) SDNC with similar results, suggesting the promising interest of a novel anthelmintic with improved biopharmaceutical behavior. In conclusion, new FBZ and VAL-FBZ SDNC with improved dissolution rate were successfully prepared and characterized.
- valerolactam-fenbendazole hybrid
- self-dispersible nanocrystals
- bead milling