Supersaturated lipid-based formulations to enhance the oral bioavailability of venetoclax

Niklas J. Koehl, Laura J. Henze, Martin Kuentz, René Holm, Brendan T. Griffin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Increasing numbers of beyond Rule-of-Five drugs are emerging from discovery pipelines, generating a need for bio-enabling formulation approaches, such as lipid-based formulations (LBF), to ensure maximal in vivo exposure. However, many drug candidates display insufficient lipid solubility, leading to dose-loading limitations in LBFs. The aim of this study was to explore the potential of supersaturated LBFs (sLBF) for the beyond Rule-of-Five drug venetoclax. Temperature-induced sLBFs of venetoclax were obtained in olive oil, Captex® 1000, Peceol® and Capmul MCM®, respectively. A Peceol®-based sLBF displayed the highest drug loading and was therefore evaluated further. In vitro lipolysis demonstrated that the Peceol®-based sLBF was able to generate higher venetoclax concentrations in the aqueous phase compared to a Peceol®-based suspension and an aqueous suspension. A subsequent bioavailability study in pigs demonstrated for sLBF a 3.8-fold and 2.1-fold higher bioavailability compared to the drug powder and Peceol®-based suspension, respectively. In conclusion, sLBF is a promising bio-enabling formulation approach to enhance in vivo exposure of beyond Rule-of-Five drugs, such as venetoclax. The in vitro lipolysis results correctly predicted a higher exposure of the sLBF in vivo. The findings of this study are of particular relevance to pre-clinical drug development, where maximum exposure is required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number564
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks programme, grant agreement number 674909.


  • Amorphous solubility
  • Landrace pigs
  • Lipid suspensions
  • Lipid-based formulation
  • Self-emulsifying drug delivery system
  • Super-SNEDDS
  • Supersaturated lipid-based formulations
  • Supersaturation
  • Venetoclax

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