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Subcutaneous Delivery of High-Dose/Volume Biologics: Current Status and Prospect for Future Advancements

Authors Badkar AV, Gandhi RB, Davis SP, LaBarre MJ

Received 17 October 2020

Accepted for publication 15 December 2020

Published 13 January 2021 Volume 2021:15 Pages 159—170


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anastasios Lymperopoulos

Advait V Badkar,1 Rajesh B Gandhi,2 Shawn P Davis,3 Michael J LaBarre4

1Pharmaceutical Research & Development, Pfizer Inc., Andover, MA, USA; 2Drug Product Science & Technology, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Co., New Brunswick, NJ, USA; 3BioPharmaceuticals Development, Research & Development, AstraZeneca, Cambridge, MA, UK; 4Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc., San Diego, CA, USA

Correspondence: Advait V Badkar 68 Lowell Junction Road (K2030), Andover, MA 01810, USA
Tel +1-314-677-4061

Abstract: Subcutaneous (SC) delivery of biologics has traditionally been limited to fluid volumes of 1– 2 mL, with recent increases to volumes of about 3 mL. This injection volume limitation poses challenges for high-dose biologics, as these formulations may also require increased solution concentration in many cases, resulting in high viscosities which can affect the stability, manufacturability, and delivery/administration of therapeutic drugs. Currently, there are technologies that can help to overcome these challenges and facilitate the delivery of larger amounts of drug through the SC route. This can be achieved either by enabling biologic molecules to be formulated or delivered as high-concentration injectables (> 100 mg/mL for antibodies) or through facilitating the delivery of larger volumes of fluid (> 3 mL). The SC Drug Delivery and Development Consortium, which was established in 2018, aims to identify and address critical gaps and issues in the SC delivery of high-dose/volume products to help expand this delivery landscape. Identified as a high priority out of the Consortium’s eight problem statements, it highlights the need to shift perceptions of the capabilities of technologies that enable the SC delivery of large-volume (> 3 mL) and/or high-dose biologics. The Consortium emphasizes a patient-focused approach towards the adoption of SC delivery of large-volume/high-concentration dosing products to facilitate the continued expansion of the capabilities of novel SC technologies. To raise awareness of the critical issues and gaps in high-dose/volume SC drug development, this review article provides a generalized overview of currently available and emerging technologies and devices that could facilitate SC delivery of high-dose/volume drug formulations. In addition, it discusses the challenges, gaps, and future outlook in high-dose/volume SC delivery as well as potential solutions to exploit the full value of the SC route of administration.

Keywords: high-dose biologic, drug delivery technologies, subcutaneous drug delivery, intravenous drug delivery, patient preference, large-volume subcutaneous delivery

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