Optimized Dose Delivery of the Peptide Cyclosporine Using Hydrofluoroalkane-Based Metered Dose Inhalers

Paul B. Myrdal, Kelly L. Karlage, Steve W. Stein, Beth A. Brown, Alfred Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to illustrate the potential to deliver relatively high doses of a therapeutic peptide using hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) metered dose inhaler (MDI) drug delivery systems. For the purposes of this study, cyclosporine was used as the model compound. Cyclosporine formulations, varying in peptide concentration, ethanol cosolvent concentration, and propellant type, were evaluated and optimized for product performance. As ethanol concentration was decreased from 10 to 3% by weight, fine particle fraction (the mass of cyclosporine which passes through a 4.7-micron cut point divided by the total mass of cyclosporine delivered ex-valve) increased from 34 to 68% for 227 and 33 to 52% for 134a formulations. Because of the excellent solubility properties of cyclosporine in HFA-based systems, minimal or no ethanol was needed as a cosolvent to achieve cyclosporine concentrations of 1. 5% w/w. With these formulations, it was possible to obtain a fine particle mass (mass of particles <4.7 microns) greater than 500 μg per actuation. In addition, one formulation was chosen for stability analysis: 0.09% w/w cyclosporine, 10% w/w ethanol, 134a. Three different types of container closure systems (stainless steel, aluminum, and epoxy-coated canisters) and two storage configurations (upright and inverted) were evaluated. Cyclosporine was determined to be stable in HFA 134a-based MDI systems, regardless of container closure system and configuration, over a 2-year period. Cyclosporine represents a compelling example of how significant peptide doses are attainable through the use of solution-based MDIs. It has been shown that through formulation optimization, 2-3 mg of the peptide, cyclosporine, may be delivered in five actuations to the lung for local or systemic therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1054-1061
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of pharmaceutical sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Aerosol
  • Cyclosporine
  • Fine particle fraction
  • Hydrofluoroalkanes
  • Metered dose inhalers
  • Peptide delivery
  • Protein delivery
  • Pulmonary drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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