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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2003 June; 4(2): 75–82.
Published online 2003 April 14. doi:  10.1208/pt040221
PMCID: PMC2750599

Kinetics of paclitaxel 2′-N-methylpyridinium mesylate decomposition


This study was designed to examine the kinetics of decomposition of paclitaxel 2′-N-methylpyridinium mesylate (PNMM), a derivative of paclitaxel. Further, the potential for PNMM to act as a prodrug of paclitaxel was assessed in vitro. Stability studies of PNMM were conducted over a pH range of 4.0 to 8.0 at 25°C. The critical micelle concentration (CMC) of PNMM was determined by pulsating bubble surfactometry. Studies of the conversion of PNMM to paclitaxel were conducted in vitro in human plasma. Decomposition of PNMM followed apparent zero-order kinetics. The pH-rate profile exhibited no evidence of acid catalysis down to pH 4.0, while the rate was accelerated under base conditions. Surface tension studies suggested that PNMM formed micelles with a CMC of approximately 34 μg/mL. Conversion studies in phosphate buffer showed that no more than 5% of PNMM converted to paclitaxel, while in human plasma the conversion was about 25%. The degradation of PNMM was via apparent zero-order kinetics and was dependent upon pH. The observed apparent zero-order kinetics of decomposition of PNMM was consistent with the formation of micelles in phosphate buffer. In buffered aqueous media alone or in human plasma, PNMM did not convert quantitatively to paclitaxel. Thus, the limiting factor in the application of PNMM as a prodrug would appear to be the poor potential to convert to paclitaxel.

Keywords: prodrug, conversion, stability, solubility, micelle

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Selected References

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