Preparation and characterization of adefovir dipivoxil–stearic acid cocrystal with enhanced physicochemical properties

The objectives of this study were to prepare cocrystal composed of adefovir dipivoxil (AD) and stearic acid (SA) and to investigate the enhanced properties of the cocrystal. The cocrystal was prepared by antisolvent precipitation and characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The enhanced properties were evaluated by dissolution testing, permeability studies, and powder rheology analysis. The AD raw material has a cuboid-like crystal and the cocrystal has a needle shape. In the FT-IR study, there were bathochromic shifts caused by the hydrogen bonding. The melting point of the cocrystal was 52.9 °C, which was lower than that of AD. The XRPD pattern also had distinct differences, supporting the formation of a new crystalline form. The cocrystal showed changes in the lattice energy and the solvation strength, which caused an enhanced dissolution. The permeability was increased due to the SA, which acts as a P-gp inhibitor. The tabletability was enhanced due to the altered crystal habit. In conclusion, cocrystal containing AD and SA was successfully prepared, presenting advantages such as enhanced solubility, tabletability, and permeability. The use of the cocrystal is a desirable approach for the improved physicochemical properties.