Spray Freeze Drying of Biologics: A Review and Applications for Inhalation Delivery

Spray Freeze Drying of Biologics: A Review and Applications for Inhalation Delivery

Susana Farinha, João V. Sá, Paulo Roque Lino, Marco Galésio, João Pires, Miguel Ângelo Rodrigues, João Henriques


Biopharmaceuticals have established an indisputable presence in the pharmaceutical pipeline, enabling highly specific new therapies. However, manufacturing, isolating, and delivering these highly complex molecules to patients present multiple challenges, including the short shelf-life of biologically derived products. Administration of biopharmaceuticals through inhalation has been gaining attention as an alternative to overcome the burdens associated with intravenous administration. Although most of the inhaled biopharmaceuticals in clinical trials are being administered through nebulization, dry powder inhalers (DPIs) are considered a viable alternative to liquid solutions due to enhanced stability. While freeze drying (FD) and spray drying (SD) are currently seen as the most viable solutions for drying biopharmaceuticals, spray freeze drying (SFD) has recently started gaining attention as an alternative to these technologies as it enables unique powder properties which favor this family of drug products. The present review focus on the application of SFD to produce dry powders of biopharmaceuticals, with special focus on inhalation delivery. Thus, it provides an overview of the critical quality attributes (CQAs) of these dry powders. Then, a detailed explanation of the SFD fundamental principles as well as the different existing variants is presented, together with a discussion regarding the opportunities and challenges of SFD as an enabling technology for inhalation-based biopharmaceuticals. Finally, a review of the main formulation strategies and their impact on the stability and performance of inhalable biopharmaceuticals produced via SDF is performed. Overall, this review presents a comprehensive assessment of the current and future applications of SFD in biopharmaceuticals for inhalation delivery.


biopharmaceuticals, formulation, inhalation delivery, particle engineering, spray freeze drying