Study of the relation between the shape of lacosamide crystals and the composition of crystallization medium

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Allegaert, Sven
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University College Cork
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Crystallization is the critical process used by pharmaceutical industries to achieve the desired size, size distribution, shape and polymorphism of a product material. Control of these properties presents a major challenge since they influence considerably downstream processing factors. Experimental work aimed at finding ways to control the crystal shape of Lacosamide, an active pharmaceutical ingredient developed by UCB Pharma, during crystallization was carried out. It was found that the crystal lattice displayed a very strong unidirectional double hydrogen bonding, which was at the origin of the needle shape of the Lacosamide crystals. Two main strategies were followed to hinder the hydrogen bonding and compete with the addition of a Lacosamide molecule along the crystal length axis: changing the crystallization medium or weakening the hydrogen bonding. Various solvents were tested to check whether the solvent used to crystallize Lacosamide had an influence on the final crystal shape. Solvent molecules seemed to slow down the growth in the length axis by hindering the unidirectional hydrogen bonding of Lacosamide crystals, but not enough to promote the crystal growth in the width axis. Additives were also tested. Certain additives have shown to compete in a more efficient way than solvent molecules with the hydrogen bonding of Lacosamide. The additive effect has also shown to be compatible with the solvent effect. In parallel, hydrogen atoms in Lacosamide were changed into deuterium atoms in order to weaken the hydrogen bonds strength. Weakening the hydrogen bonds of Lacosamide allowed to let the crystal grow in the width axis. Deuteration was found to be combinable with solvent effect while being in competition with the additive effect. The Lacosamide molecule was eventually deemed an absolute needle by the terms of Lovette and Doherty. The results of this dissertation are aimed at contributing to this classification.
Lacosamide , Crystallization , Crystal shape , Solvent , Additive , Deuteration
Allegaert, S. 2016. Study of the relation between the shape of lacosamide crystals and the composition of crystallization medium. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.