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Title:
THERAPEUTIC NANOPARTICLES COMPRISING A THERAPEUTIC AGENT AND METHODS OF MAKING AND USING SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/075369
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present disclosure generally relates to nanoparticles comprising a substantially hydrophobic base, an acidic therapeutic agent, and a polymer. Other aspects include methods of making and using such nanoparticles.

Inventors:
SONG YOUNG-HO (US)
FIGUEIREDO MARIA (US)
DEWITT DAVID (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2016/059349
Publication Date:
May 04, 2017
Filing Date:
October 28, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PFIZER (US)
International Classes:
A61K9/51; A61K31/25; A61L17/12
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015142605A22015-09-24
Foreign References:
US20140248358A12014-09-04
Other References:
SMALL, DM ET AL.: "The Ionization Behavior of Fatty Acids and Bile Acids in Micelles and Membranes.", HEPATOLOGY, vol. 4, no. 5, 1984, pages 77S - 79S, XP055541304
See also references of EP 3368021A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
UITTO, Olivia, D. et al. (100 Northern AvenueBoston, MA, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A therapeutic nanoparticle comprising:

about 0.05 to about 30 weight percent of a substantially hydrophobic base;

about 0.2 to about 20 weight percent of an acidic therapeutic agent; wherein the pKa of the hydrophobic base is at least about 1.0 pKa units greater than the pKa of the acidic therapeutic agent; and

about 50 to about 99.75 weight percent of a diblock poly (lactic) acid- poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer or a diblock poly(lactic acid-co-gly colic acid)- poly (ethylene)gly col copolymer, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle comprises about 10 to about 30 weight percent poly(ethylene)glycol.

2. A therapeutic nanoparticle comprising:

a substantially hydrophobic base;

about 0.2 to about 20 weight percent of an acidic therapeutic agent, wherein the pKa of the acidic therapeutic agent is at least about 1.0 pKa units greater than the pKa of the hydrophobic base, and wherein the molar ratio of the substantially hydrophobic base to the acidic therapeutic agent is about 0.25: 1 to about 2: 1; and

about 50 to about 99.75 weight percent of a diblock poly (lactic) acid- poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer or a diblock poly(lactic acid-co-gly colic acid)- poly (ethylene)gly col copolymer, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle comprises about 10 to about 30 weight percent poly(ethylene)glycol.

3. The therapeutic nanoparticle of claim 2, wherein the molar ratio of the substantially hydrophobic base to the acidic therapeutic agent is about 0.5: 1 to about 1.5: 1.

4. The therapeutic nanoparticle of claim 2, wherein the molar ratio of the substantially hydrophobic base to the acidic therapeutic agent is about 0.75: 1 to about 1.25: 1.

5. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-4, wherein the pKa of the acidic therapeutic agent is at least about 2.0 pKa units greater than the pKa of the hydrophobic base. 6. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-4, wherein the pKa of the acidic therapeutic agent is at least about 4.0 pKa units greater than the pKa of the hydrophobic base. 7. A therapeutic nanoparticle comprising:

a hydrophobic ion-pair comprising a hydrophobic base and a therapeutic agent having at least one ionizable acid moiety; wherein difference between the pKa of the acidic therapeutic agent and the hydrophobic base is at least about 1.0 pKa unit; and about 50 to about 99.75 weight percent of a diblock poly (lactic) acid- poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer, wherein the poly(lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer has a number average molecular weight of about 15 kDa to about 20 kDa poly(lactic acid) and a number average molecular weight of about 4 kDa to about 6 kDa poly(ethylene)glycol.

8. The therapeutic nanoparticle of claim 7, wherein the difference between the pKa of the acidic therapeutic agent and the hydrophobic base is at least about 2.0 pKa units.

9. The therapeutic nanoparticle of claim 7, wherein the difference between the pKa of the acidic therapeutic agent and the hydrophobic base is at least about 4.0 pKa units.

10. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 7-9, comprising about 0.05 to about 20 weight percent of the hydrophobic base.

11. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-10, wherein the substantially hydrophobic base has a log P of about 2 to about 7.

12. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-11, wherein the substantially hydrophobic base has a pKa in water of about 5 to about 14.

13. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-11, wherein the substantially hydrophobic base has a pKa in water of about 9 to about 14.

14. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-13, wherein the substantially hydrophobic base and the acidic therapeutic agent form a hydrophobic ion pair in the therapeutic nanoparticle.

15. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-14, wherein the hydrophobic base is a hydrophobic amine.

16. The therapeutic nanoparticle of claim 15, wherein the hydrophobic amine is selected from the group consisting of octylamine, dodecylamine, tetradecylamine, oleylamine, trioctylamine, N-(phenylmethyl)benzeneethanamine, Ν,Ν'-dibenzylethylenediamine, and N- ethyldicyclohexylamine, and combinations thereof.

17. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-14, wherein the hydrophobic base comprises a protonatable functional group selected from the group consisting of an amine, an imine, a nitrogen-containing heteroaryl base, a phosphazene, a hydrazine, and a guanidine. 18. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-17, wherein the acidic therapeutic agent comprises a carboxylic acid functional group.

19. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-17, wherein the acidic therapeutic agent comprises a sulfur-containing acidic functional group.

20. The therapeutic nanoparticle of claim 19, wherein the sulfur-containing acidic functional group is selected from the group consisting of a sulfenic acid, a sulfinic acid, a sulfonic acid, and a sulfuric acid.

21. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -20, wherein the acidic therapeutic acid has a pKa between about -3 and about 7.

22. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -20, wherein the acidic therapeutic acid has a pKa between about 1 and about 5.

23. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -22, comprising about 1 to about 15 weight percent of the acidic therapeutic agent.

24. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -22, comprising about 2 to about 15 weight percent of the acidic therapeutic agent.

25. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -22, comprising about 4 to about 15 weight percent of the acidic therapeutic agent.

26. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -22, comprising about 5 to about 10 weight percent of the acidic therapeutic agent.

27. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -22, comprising about 2 to about 5 weight percent of the acidic therapeutic agent.

28. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -27, wherein the therapeutic agent is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

29. The therapeutic nanoparticles of claim 28, wherein the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug is selected from the group consisting of diclofenac, ketorolac, rofecoxib, celecoxib, and pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof.

30. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-29, wherein the hydrodynamic diameter of the therapeutic nanoparticle is about 60 to about 150 nm.

31. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-29, wherein the hydrodynamic diameter is about 90 to about 140 nm.

32. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -31, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle substantially retains the therapeutic agent for at least 1 minute when placed in a phosphate buffer solution at 37 °C.

33. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -32, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle substantially immediately releases less than about 30% of the therapeutic agent when placed in a phosphate buffer solution at 37 °C.

34. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -32, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle substantially immediately releases less than about 60% of the therapeutic agent after 2 hours when placed in a phosphate buffer solution at 37°C.

35. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -32, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle releases about 10 to about 45% of the therapeutic agent over about 1 hour when placed in a phosphate buffer solution at 37 °C.

36. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -35, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle has a release profile that is substantially the same as a release profile for a control nanoparticle that is substantially the same as the therapeutic nanoparticle except that it does not contain the substantially hydrophobic base.

37. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -36, wherein the poly(lactic) acid- poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer has a poly(lactic) acid number average molecular weight fraction of about 0.6 to about 0.95.

38. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-36, wherein the poly (lactic) acid- poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer has a poly(lactic) acid number average molecular weight fraction of about 0.6 to about 0.8.

39. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-36, wherein the poly(lactic) acid- poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer has a poly(lactic) acid number average molecular weight fraction of about 0.75 to about 0.85.

40. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-36, wherein the poly (lactic) acid- poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer has a poly(lactic) acid number average molecular weight fraction of about 0.7 to about 0.9.

41. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -40, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle comprises about 10 to about 25 weight percent poly (ethylene)gly col.

42. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -40, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle comprises about 10 to about 20 weight percent poly (ethylene)gly col.

43. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -40, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle comprises about 15 to about 25 weight percent poly (ethylene)gly col.

44. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -40, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle comprises about 20 to about 30 weight percent poly(ethylene)glycol.

45. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-44, wherein the poly(lactic) acid- poly (ethylene)gly col copolymer has a number average molecular weight of about 15 kDa to about 20 kDa poly(lactic acid) and a number average molecular weight of about 4 kDa to about 6 kDa poly(ethylene)glycol.

46. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-45, further comprising about 0.2 to about 30 weight percent poly(lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer functionalized with a targeting ligand.

47. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-46, further comprising about 0.2 to about 30 weight percent poly(lactic) acid-co-poly(gly colic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer functionalized with a targeting ligand.

48. The therapeutic nanoparticle of claim 46 or 47, wherein the targeting ligand is covalently bound to the poly(ethylene)glycol.

49. The therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-48, wherein the hydrophobic base is a polyelectrolyte.

50. The therapeutic nanoparticle of claim 49, wherein the polyelectrolyte is selected from the group consisting of a polyamine and a polypyridine.

51. The therapeutic nanoparticle of claim 50, wherein the polyamine is selected from the group consisting of polyethyleneimine, polylysine, polyallylamine, and chitosan.

52. A therapeutic nanoparticle prepared by:

emulsification of a first organic phase comprising a first polymer, an acidic therapeutic agent, and a substantially hydrophobic base, thereby forming an emulsion phase;

quenching of the emulsion phase thereby forming a quenched phase; and

filtration of the quenched phase to recover the therapeutic nanoparticles.

53. A pharmaceutically acceptable composition comprising a plurality of therapeutic nanoparticles of any of claims 1-52 and a pharmaceutically acceptable excipient.

54. The pharmaceutically acceptable composition of claim 53, further comprising a saccharide.

55. The pharmaceutically acceptable composition of claim 53 or 54, further comprising a cyclodextrin.

56. The pharmaceutically acceptable composition of claim 54, wherein the saccharide is a disaccharide selected from the group consisting of sucrose or trehalose, or a mixture thereof. 57. The pharmaceutically acceptable composition of claim 55, wherein the cyclodextrin is selected from the group consisting of a-cyclodextrin, β-cyclodextrin, γ-cyclodextrin, heptakis- (2,3,6-tri-0-benzyl)- -cyclodextrin, and mixtures thereof.

58. A method of treating cancer in a patient in need thereof, comprising administering to the patient a therapeutically effective amount of a composition comprising the therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -52.

59. The method of claim 58, wherein the cancer is chronic myelogenous leukemia.

60. The method of claim 58, wherein the cancer is selected from the group consisting of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, hypereosinophilic syndrome, renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, a solid tumor, and mantle cell lymphoma.

61. A method of treating a gastrointestinal stromal tumor in a patient in need thereof, comprising administering to the patient a therapeutically effective amount of a composition comprising the therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1-52.

62. A method of treating pain in a patient in need thereof, comprising administering to the patient a therapeutically effective amount of a composition comprising the therapeutic nanoparticle of any one of claims 1 -52.

63. A process for preparing a therapeutic nanoparticle, comprising:

combining a first organic phase with a first aqueous solution to form a second phase; emulsifying the second phase to form an emulsion phase, wherein the emulsion phase comprises a first polymer, an acidic therapeutic agent, and a substantially hydrophobic base; quenching of the emulsion phase thereby forming a quenched phase; and

filtering the quenched phase to recover the therapeutic nanoparticles.

64. The process of claim 63, further comprising combining the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base in the second phase prior to emulsifying the second phase. 65. The process of claim 64, wherein the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base form a hydrophobic ion pair prior to emulsifying the second phase.

66. The process of claim 64, wherein the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base form a hydrophobic ion pair prior during emulsification of the second phase. 67. The process of claim 63, further comprising combining the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base in the second phase substantially concurrently with emulsifying the second phase.

68. The process of claim 67, wherein the first organic phase comprises the acidic therapeutic agent and the first aqueous solution comprises the substantially hydrophobic base.

69. The process of any one of claims 63-68, wherein the acidic therapeutic agent has a first pKa, the substantially hydrophobic base, when protonated, has a second pKa, and the emulsion phase is quenched with an aqueous solution having a pH equal to a pKa unit between the first pKa and the second pKa.

70. The process of claim 69, wherein the quenched phase has a pH equal to a pKa unit between the first pKa and the second pKa.

71. The process of any one of claims claim 63-69, wherein the acidic therapeutic agent has a first pKa, the substantially hydrophobic base, when protonated, has a second pKa, and the first aqueous solution has a pH equal to a pKa unit between the first pKa and the second pKa.

72. The process of any one of claims 69-71, wherein the pH is equal to a pKa unit that is about equidistant between the first pKa and the second pKa.

Description:
THERAPEUTIC NANOP ARTICLES COMPRISING A THERAPEUTIC AGENT AND METHODS OF MAKING AND USING SAME

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. provisional application number 62/248,551, filed October 30, 2015, which is incorporated in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Systems that deliver certain drugs to a patient (e.g. , targeted to a particular tissue or cell type or targeted to a specific diseased tissue but not normal tissue) or that control release of drugs have long been recognized as beneficial. For example, therapeutics that include an active drug and that are, e.g. , targeted to a particular tissue or cell type, or targeted to a specific diseased tissue but not to normal tissue, may reduce the amount of the drug in tissues of the body that are not targeted. This is particularly important when treating a condition such as cancer where it is desirable that a cytotoxic dose of the drug is delivered to cancer cells without killing the surrounding non-cancerous tissue. Effective drug targeting may reduce the undesirable and sometimes life-threatening side effects common in anticancer therapy. In addition, such therapeutics may allow drugs to reach certain tissues they would otherwise be unable to reach.

[0003] Therapeutics that offer controlled release and/or targeted therapy also must be able to deliver an effective amount of drug, which is a known limitation in other nanoparticle delivery systems. For example, it can be a challenge to prepare nanoparticle systems that have an appropriate amount of drug associated with each nanoparticle, while keeping the size of the nanoparticles small enough to have advantageous delivery properties.

[0004] Therapeutic agents containing at least one acidic group represent an important group of therapeutic agents. However, nanoparticle formulations of this class of drugs are often hindered by undesirable properties, e.g. , burst release profiles and poor drug loading.

[0005] Accordingly, a need exists for nanoparticle therapeutics and methods of making such nanoparticles that are capable of delivering therapeutic levels of acidic therapeutic agents to treat diseases, while also reducing patient side effects. For example, formulations of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) suffer from poor drug loading and/or poor release characteristics.

SUMMARY

[0006] Described herein are polymeric nanoparticles that include a therapeutic agent containing at least one acidic group, and methods of making and using such therapeutic nanoparticles.

[0007] In one aspect, a therapeutic nanoparticle is provided. The therapeutic nanoparticle comprises about 0.05 to about 30 weight percent of a substantially hydrophobic base; about 0.2 to about 20 weight percent of an acidic therapeutic agent; wherein the pK a of the hydrophobic base is at least about 1.0 pK a units greater than the pK a of the acidic therapeutic agent; and about 50 to about 99.75 weight percent of a diblock poly (lactic) acid- poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer or a diblock poly(lactic acid-co-gly colic acid)- poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle comprises about 10 to about 30 weight percent poly(ethylene)glycol.

[0008] In another aspect, a therapeutic nanoparticle is provided. The therapeutic nanoparticle comprises a substantially hydrophobic base; about 0.2 to about 20 weight percent of an acidic therapeutic agent, wherein the pK a of the acidic therapeutic agent is at least about 1.0 pK a units greater than the pK a of the hydrophobic base, and wherein the molar ratio of the substantially hydrophobic base to the acidic therapeutic agent is about 0.25: 1 to about 2: 1; and about 50 to about 99.75 weight percent of a diblock poly(lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer or a diblock poly(lactic acid-co-gly colic acid)-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer, wherein the therapeutic nanoparticle comprises about 10 to about 30 weight percent poly(ethylene)glycol.

[0009] In some embodiments, the molar ratio of the substantially hydrophobic base to the acidic therapeutic agent is about 0.5:1 to about 1.5: 1, or about 0.75: 1 to about 1.25: 1.

[0010] In some embodiments, the pK a of the acidic therapeutic agent is at least about

2.0 pK a units greater than the pK a of the hydrophobic base, or at least about 4.0 pK a units greater than the pK a of the hydrophobic base.

[0011] In still another aspect, a therapeutic nanoparticle is provided. The therapeutic nanoparticle comprises a hydrophobic ion-pair comprising a hydrophobic base and a therapeutic agent having at least one ionizable acid moiety; wherein difference between the pKa of the acidic therapeutic agent and the hydrophobic base is at least about 1.0 pK a unit; and about 50 to about 99.75 weight percent of a diblock poly(lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer, wherein the poly(lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer has a number average molecular weight of about 15 kDa to about 20 kDa poly (lactic acid) and a number average molecular weight of about 4 kDa to about 6 kDa poly(ethylene)glycol.

[0012] In some embodiments, the difference between the pK a of the acidic therapeutic agent and the hydrophobic base is at least about 2.0 pK a units, or at least about 4.0 pKa units.

[0013] In some embodiments, a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle further comprises about 0.05 to about 20 weight percent of the hydrophobic base.

[0014] In some embodiments, the substantially hydrophobic base has a log P of about 2 to about 7.

[0015] In some embodiments, the substantially hydrophobic base has a pK a in water of about 5 to about 14, or about 9 to about 14.

[0016] In some embodiments, the substantially hydrophobic base and the acidic therapeutic agent form a hydrophobic ion pair in the therapeutic nanoparticle.

[0017] In some embodiments, the hydrophobic base is a hydrophobic amine. For example, in certain embodiments, the hydrophobic amine is selected from the group consisting of octylamine, dodecylamine, tetradecylamine, oleylamine, trioctylamine, N- (phenylmethyl)benzeneethanamine, Ν,Ν'-dibenzylethylenediamine, and N- ethyldicyclohexylamine, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, the hydrophobic base comprises a protonatable functional group selected from the group consisting of an amine, an imine, a nitrogen-containing heteroaryl base, a phosphazene, a hydrazine, and a guanidine.

[0018] In some embodiments, the acidic therapeutic agent comprises a carboxylic acid functional group. In some embodiments, the acidic therapeutic agent comprises a sulfur- containing acidic functional group. For example, in certain embodiments, the sulfur-containing acidic functional group is selected from the group consisting of a sulfenic acid, a sulfinic acid, a sulfonic acid, and a sulfuric acid. In some embodiments, the acidic therapeutic acid has a pK a between about -3 and about 7, or between about 1 and about 5.

[0019] In some embodiments, a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle further comprises about 1 to about 15 weight percent of the acidic therapeutic agent, or about 2 to about 15 weight percent of the acidic therapeutic agent, or about 4 to about 15 weight percent of the acidic therapeutic agent, or about 5 to about 10 weight percent of the acidic therapeutic agent, or about 2 to about 5 weight percent of the acidic therapeutic agent.

[0020] In some embodiments, the therapeutic agent is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). For example, in certain embodiments, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug is selected from the group consisting of diclofenac, ketorolac, rofecoxib, celecoxib, and pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof.

[0021] In some embodiments, the hydrodynamic diameter of a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle is about 60 to about 150 nm, or about 90 to about 140 nm.

[0022] In some embodiments, a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle substantially retains the therapeutic agent for at least 1 minute when placed in a phosphate buffer solution at 37 °C. In some embodiments, a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle substantially immediately releases less than about 30% of the therapeutic agent when placed in a phosphate buffer solution at 37 °C. In some embodiments, a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle substantially immediately releases less than about 60% of the therapeutic agent after 2 hours when placed in a phosphate buffer solution at 37°C. In some embodiments, a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle releases about 10 to about 45% of the therapeutic agent over about 1 hour when placed in a phosphate buffer solution at 37 °C. In some embodiments, a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle has a release profile that is substantially the same as a release profile for a control nanoparticle that is substantially the same as the therapeutic nanoparticle except that it does not contain the substantially hydrophobic base.

[0023] In some embodiments, the poly(lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer has a poly(lactic) acid number average molecular weight fraction of about 0.6 to about 0.95, or about 0.6 to about 0.8, or about 0.75 to about 0.85, or about 0.7 to about 0.9.

[0024] In some embodiments, a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle further comprises about 10 to about 25 weight percent poly (ethylene)gly col, or about 10 to about 20 weight percent poly (ethylene)gly col, or about 15 to about 25 weight percent

poly(ethylene)glycol, or about 20 to about 30 weight percent poly(ethylene)glycol.

[0025] In some embodiments, the poly(lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer has a number average molecular weight of about 15 kDa to about 20 kDa poly (lactic acid) and a number average molecular weight of about 4 kDa to about 6 kDa poly(ethylene)glycol.

[0026] In some embodiments, a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle further comprises about 0.2 to about 30 weight percent poly(lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer functionalized with a targeting ligand. In some embodiments, a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle further comprises about 0.2 to about 30 weight percent poly(lactic) acid-co-poly(gly colic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer functionalized with a targeting ligand. For example, in some embodiments, the targeting ligand is covalently bound to the poly(ethylene)glycol.

[0027] In some embodiments, the hydrophobic base is a polyelectrolyte.

[0028] In some embodiments, the polyelectrolyte is selected from the group consisting of a polyamine and a polypyridine.

[0029] In some embodiments, the polyamine is selected from the group consisting of polyethyleneimine, polylysine, polyallylamine, and chitosan.

[0030] In another aspect, a therapeutic nanoparticle is provided. The therapeutic nanoparticle is prepared by emulsification of a first organic phase comprising a first polymer, an acidic therapeutic agent, and a substantially hydrophobic base, thereby forming an emulsion phase; quenching of the emulsion phase thereby forming a quenched phase; and filtration of the quenched phase to recover the therapeutic nanoparticles.

[0031] In yet another aspect, a pharmaceutically acceptable composition is provided.

The pharmaceutically acceptable composition comprises a plurality of contemplated therapeutic nanoparticles and a pharmaceutically acceptable excipient.

[0032] In some embodiments, a contemplated pharmaceutically acceptable composition further comprises a saccharide. For example, in some embodiments, the saccharide is a disaccharide selected from the group consisting of sucrose or trehalose, or a mixture thereof.

[0033] In some embodiments, a contemplated pharmaceutically acceptable composition further comprises a cyclodextrin. For example, in some embodiments, the cyclodextrin is selected from the group consisting of a-cyclodextrin, β-cyclodextrin, γ-cyclodextrin, heptakis- (2,3,6-tri-0-benzyl)- -cyclodextrin, and mixtures thereof.

[0034] In still another aspect, a method of treating cancer in a patient in need thereof is provided. The method comprises administering to the patient a therapeutically effective amount of a composition comprising a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle.

[0035] In some embodiments, the cancer is chronic myelogenous leukemia. For example, in some embodiments, the cancer is selected from the group consisting of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, hypereosinophilic syndrome, renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, a solid tumor, and mantle cell lymphoma.

[0036] In yet another aspect, a method of treating a gastrointestinal stromal tumor in a patient in need thereof is provided. The method comprises administering to the patient a therapeutically effective amount of a composition comprising a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle.

[0037] In still another aspect, a method of treating pain in a patient in need thereof is provided. The method comprises administering to the patient a therapeutically effective amount of a composition comprising a contemplated therapeutic nanoparticle.

[0038] In yet another aspect, a process for preparing a therapeutic nanoparticle is provided. The process comprises combining a first organic phase with a first aqueous solution to form a second phase; emulsifying the second phase to form an emulsion phase, wherein the emulsion phase comprises a first polymer, an acidic therapeutic agent, and a substantially hydrophobic base; quenching of the emulsion phase thereby forming a quenched phase; and filtering the quenched phase to recover the therapeutic nanoparticles.

[0039] In some embodiments, a contemplated process further comprises combining the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base in the second phase prior to emulsifying the second phase. In some embodiments, the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base form a hydrophobic ion pair prior to emulsifying the second phase. In some embodiments, the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base form a hydrophobic ion pair prior during emulsification of the second phase.

[0040] In some embodiments, a contemplated process further comprises combining the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base in the second phase substantially concurrently with emulsifying the second phase. For example, in some embodiments, the first organic phase comprises the acidic therapeutic agent and the first aqueous solution comprises the substantially hydrophobic base.

[0041] In some embodiments, the acidic therapeutic agent has a first pK a , the substantially hydrophobic base, when protonated, has a second pK a , and the emulsion phase is quenched with an aqueous solution having a pH equal to a pK a unit between the first pK a and the second pK a . For example, in some embodiments, the quenched phase has a pH equal to a pK a unit between the first pK a and the second pK a . In some embodiments, the acidic therapeutic agent has a first pKa, the substantially hydrophobic base, when protonated, has a second pKa, and the first aqueous solution has a pH equal to a pK a unit between the first pK a and the second pK a . For example, in some embodiments, the pH is equal to a pK a unit that is about equidistant between the first pKa and the second pKa.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0042] Figure 1 is a flow chart for an emulsion process for forming disclosed nanoparticles.

[0043] Figures 2A and 2B show flow diagrams for a disclosed emulsion process.

[0044] Figure 3 depicts in-vitro release of diclofenac from various nanoparticles disclosed herein.

[0045] Figure 4 depicts in-vitro release of diclofenac from various nanoparticles disclosed herein.

[0046] Figure 5 depicts in-vitro release of diclofenac from various nanoparticles disclosed herein.

[0047] Figure 6 depicts in-vitro release of diclofenac from various nanoparticles disclosed herein.

[0048] Figure 7 depicts in-vitro release of diclofenac from various nanoparticles disclosed herein.

[0049] Figure 8 depicts in-vitro release of ketorolac from various nanoparticles disclosed herein.

[0050] Figure 9 depicts in-vitro release of ketorolac from various nanoparticles disclosed herein.

[0051] Figure 10 depicts in-vitro release of ketorolac from various nanoparticles disclosed herein.

[0052] Figure 11 depicts in-vitro release of ketorolac from various nanoparticles disclosed herein.

[0053] Figure 12 depicts in-vitro release of ketorolac from various nanoparticles disclosed herein.

[0054] Figure 13 depicts in-vitro release of ketorolac from various nanoparticles disclosed herein.

[0055] Figure 14 depicts in vitro release of rofecoxib from various nanoparticles disclosed herein. [0056] Figure 15 depicts in vitro release of rofecoxib from various nanoparticles with cyclodextrins disclosed herein, and impact of drug load.

[0057] Figure 16 depicts in vitro release of celecoxib from various nanoparticles disclosed herein prepared using various solvents for nanoprecipitation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0058] Described herein are polymeric nanoparticles that include an acidic therapeutic agent, and methods of making and using such therapeutic nanoparticles. In some embodiments, inclusion {i.e., doping) of a substantially hydrophobic base (e.g., a protonatable nitrogen- containing hydrophobic compound) in a disclosed nanoparticle and/or included in a

nanoparticle preparation process may result in nanoparticles with improved drug loading.

Furthermore, in certain embodiments, nanoparticles that include and/or are prepared in the presence of the hydrophobic base may exhibit improved controlled release properties. For example, disclosed nanoparticles may more slowly release the acidic therapeutic agent as compared to nanoparticles prepared in the absence of the hydrophobic base.

[0059] Without wishing to be bound by any theory, it is believed that the disclosed nanoparticle formulations that include a hydrophobic base (e.g. , a protonatable nitrogen- containing hydrophobic compound) have significantly improved formulation properties (e.g. , drug loading and/or release profile) through formation of a hydrophobic ion-pair (HIP), between an acidic therapeutic agent having, e.g., carboxylic acid and a hydrophobic base having, e.g., a protonatable amine. As used herein, a HIP is a pair of oppositely charged ions held together by Coulombic attraction. Also without wishing to be bound by any theory, in some embodiments, HIP can be used to increase the hydrophobicity of an acidic therapeutic agent containing ionizable groups (e.g. , carboxylic acids, sulfur-containing acids, and acidic alcohols). In some embodiments, an acidic therapeutic agent with increased hydrophobicity can be beneficial for nanoparticle formulations and result in a HIP formation that may provide higher solubility of the acidic therapeutic agent in organic solvents. HIP formation, as contemplated herein, can result in nanoparticles having for example, increased drug loading. Slower release of the therapeutic agent from the nanoparticles may also occur, for example in some embodiments, due to a decrease in the therapeutic agent's solubility in aqueous solution. Furthermore, complexing the therapeutic agent with large hydrophobic counter ions may slow diffusion of the therapeutic agent within the polymeric matrix. Advantageously, HIP formation occurs without the need for covalent conjugation of the hydrophobic group to the therapeutic agent.

[0060] Without wishing to be bound by any theory, it is believed that the strength of the

HIP impacts the drug load and release rate of the contemplated nanoparticles. For example, the strength of the HIP may be increased by increasing the magnitude of the difference between the pK a of the acidic therapeutic agent and the pK a of the hydrophobic base, as discussed in more detail below. Also without wishing to be bound by any theory, it is believed that the conditions for ion pair formation impact the drug load and release rate of the contemplated nanoparticles.

[0061] Nanoparticles disclosed herein include one, two, three or more biocompatible and/or biodegradable polymers. For example, a contemplated nanoparticle may include about 35 to about 99.75 weight percent, in some embodiments about 50 to about 99.75 weight percent, in some embodiments about 50 to about 99.5 weight percent, in some embodiments about 50 to about 99 weight percent, in some embodiments about 50 to about 98 weight percent, in some embodiments about 50 to about 97 weight percent, in some embodiments about 50 to about 96 weight percent, in some embodiments about 50 to about 95 weight percent, in some

embodiments about 50 to about 94 weight percent, in some embodiments about 50 to about 93 weight percent, in some embodiments about 50 to about 92 weight percent, in some

embodiments about 50 to about 91 weight percent, in some embodiments about 50 to about 90 weight percent, in some embodiments about 50 to about 85 weight percent, and in some embodiments about 50 to about 80 weight percent of one or more block copolymers that include a biodegradable polymer and polyethylene glycol (PEG) and about 0 to about 50 weight percent of a biodegradable homopolymer.

[0062] The disclosed nanoparticles may include an acidic therapeutic agent. As used herein, an "acidic therapeutic agent" includes any pharmaceutically active agent that contains at least one functional group capable of donating a proton. The acidic therapeutic agent may contain one, two, three, or more functional groups capable of donating a proton. Non-limiting examples of functional groups capable of donating a proton include carboxylic acid groups and sulfur-containing acidic groups (e.g. , a sulfenic acid, a sulfinic acid, a sulfonic acid, or a sulfuric acid). In some embodiments, the acidic therapeutic agent may have a pK a between about -3 and about 7, in some embodiments between about 1 and about 5, in some

embodiments between about -3 and about 3, and in some embodiments between about 3 and about 7. [0063] In some embodiments, disclosed nanoparticles may include about 0.2 to about

35 weight percent, about 0.2 to about 20 weight percent, about 0.2 to about 10 weight percent, about 0.2 to about 5 weight percent, about 0.5 to about 5 weight percent, about 0.75 to about 5 weight percent, about 1 to about 5 weight percent, about 2 to about 5 weight percent, about 3 to about 5 weight percent, about 1 to about 20 weight percent, about 2 to about 20 weight percent, about 5 to about 20 weight percent, about 1 to about 15 weight percent, about 2 to about 15 weight percent, about 3 to about 15 weight percent, about 4 to about 15 weight percent, about 5 to about 15 weight percent, about 1 to about 10 weight percent, about 2 to about 10 weight percent, about 3 to about 10 weight percent, about 4 to about 10 weight percent, about 5 to about 10 weight percent, about 10 to about 30 weight percent, or about 15 to about 25 weight percent of an acidic therapeutic agent.

[0064] In certain embodiments, disclosed nanoparticles comprise a hydrophobic base and/or are prepared by a process that includes a hydrophobic base. Such nanoparticles may have a higher drug loading than nanoparticles prepared by a process without a hydrophobic base. For example, drug loading (e.g., by weight) of disclosed nanoparticles prepared by a process comprising the hydrophobic base may be between about 2 times to about 10 times higher, or even more, than disclosed nanoparticles prepared by a process without the hydrophobic base. In some embodiments, the drug loading (by weight) of disclosed nanoparticles prepared by a first process comprising the hydrophobic base may be at least about 2 times higher, at least about 3 times higher, at least about 4 times higher, at least about 5 times higher, or at least about 10 times higher than disclosed nanoparticles prepared by a second process, where the second process is identical to the first process except that the second process does not include the hydrophobic base.

[0065] Any suitable hydrophobic base (i.e. , hydrophobic ion pairing additive) is contemplated. In certain embodiments, hydrophobic base may have fatty moiety (i.e. , a hydrophobic moiety) and a protonatable moiety. For example, the hydrophobic base may be a hydrophobic amine. In some embodiments, the hydrophobic base may be particularly advantageous for decreasing the rate of drug release. For instance, the hydrophobic base may decrease the rate of drug release of a drug having a molecular weight less than about 500 g/mol, less than about 400 g/mol, or less than 300 g/mol. In other embodiments, the hydrophobic base may be particularly advantageous for decreasing the rate of drug release of a water-soluble drug such as a drug having a water solubility of at least about 5 mg/mL, at least about 10 mg/mL, at least about 20 mg/mL, at least about 50 mg/mL, or at least about 100 mg/mL. In some cases, a salt of a hydrophobic base may be used in a formulation.

[0066] Without wishing to be bound by any theory, it is believed that when drug release from nanoparticles is largely controlled by a diffusion process through the polymeric networking, drug diffusion can be affected by characteristics of drug's molecular weight and hydrodynamic size; thus, increasing the drug's apparent hydrodynamic size and/or apparent hydrophobicity may slow the release of the drug (e.g. , acidic therapeutic agent). Again without wishing to be bound by any theory, it is believed that complexing a drug with a hydrophobic ion pairing additive (i.e., a hydrophobic base) may increase the hydrodynamic size of the drug and make the drug behave like a more hydrophobic drug.

[0067] In some instances, the hydrophobic moiety of the hydrophobic base may comprise a cyclic or acyclic aliphatic group, a cyclic or acyclic heteroaliphatic group, an aryl group, a heteroaryl group, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, the hydrophobic moiety may comprise at least 6 carbons atoms, at least 7 carbons atoms, at least 8 carbons atoms, at least 9 carbons atoms, at least 10 carbons atoms, at least 11 carbons atoms, at least 12 carbons atoms, at least 14 carbons atoms, at least 16 carbons atoms, at least 18 carbons atoms, at least 20 carbons atoms, at least 22 carbons atoms, or at least 24 carbons atoms. The protonatable moiety of the hydrophobic base may be any functional group capable of forming a ion pair complex with an acidic therapeutic agent. For example, the protonatable moiety may comprise a positive or negative charge-forming group that can ion pair with a negative or positive charge-forming group, respectively, on a drug.

[0068] Non-limiting examples of protonatable nitrogen-containing functional groups include amines (e.g. , primary, secondary, and tertiary amines), imines, nitrogen-containing heteroaryl bases (e.g. , pyridines, imidazoles, triazoles, tetrazoles, and the like), phosphazenes, hydrazines, and guanidines.

[0069] In one example, an amine group may form an ion pair complex with a drug comprising a carboxylic acid. That is, the amine group may be protonated to form an ammonium group and the carboxylic acid group deprotonates to form a carboxylate that complexes with the ammonium group. Other examples of functional groups include primary amines, secondary amines, tertiary amines, quaternary amines, and imines (which can form imminium ions). Non-limiting examples of hydrophobic amines include octylamine, dodecylamine (pK a = 10.21 ; logP = 4.25), tetradecylamine, oleylamine, trioctylamine, N- (phenylmethyl)benzeneethanamine (i.e., Benethamine) (pK a = 9.88; logP = 3.54), Ν,Ν'- dibenzylethylenediamine (i.e., Benzathine) (pK a i = 9.24; pK a2 = 6.36; logP = 2.89), and N- ethyldicyclohexylamine.

[0070] In certain embodiments, the hydrophobic base may be a polyelectrolyte. For example, the polyelectrolyte may be a polyamine (e.g. , polyethyleneimine, polylysine, polyallylamine, chitosan, and the like) or a polypyridine (e.g. , poly(2-vinylpyridine), poly(4- vinylpyridine), and the like).

[0071] Other examples of hydrophobic ion pairing additives may be found in the

"Handbook of Pharmaceutically Acceptable Salts."

[0072] In some instances, a contemplated base may have a molecular weight of less than about 1000 Da, in some embodiments less than about 500 Da, in some embodiments less than about 400 Da, in some embodiments less than about 300 Da, in some embodiments less than about 250 Da, in some embodiments less than about 200 Da, and in some embodiments less than about 150 Da. In some cases, the acid may have a molecular weight of between about 100 Da and about 1000 Da, in some embodiments between about 200 Da and about 800 Da, in some embodiments between about 200 Da and about 600 Da, in some embodiments between about 100 Da and about 300 Da, in some embodiments between about 200 Da and about 400 Da, in some embodiments between about 300 Da and about 500 Da, and in some embodiments between about 300 Da and about 1000 Da. In certain embodiments, a contemplated acid may have a molecular weight of greater than about 300 Da, in some embodiments greater than 400 Da, and in some embodiments greater than 500 Da. In certain embodiments, the release rate of a therapeutic agent from a nanoparticle can be slowed by increasing the molecular weight of the hydrophobic base used in the nanoparticle formulation.

[0073] In some embodiments, a hydrophobic base may be chosen, at least in part, on the basis of the strength of the base. For example, a protonated hydrophobic base may have an acid dissociation constant in water (pK a ) of about 5 to about 14, in some embodiments about 6 to about 14, in some embodiments about 7 to about 14, in some embodiments about 8 to about 14, in some embodiments about 9 to about 14, in some embodiments about 10 to about 14, in some embodiments about 1 1 to about 14, in some embodiments about 5 to about 7, in some embodiments about 6 to about 8, in some embodiments about 7 to about 9, in some embodiments about 8 to about 10, in some embodiments about 9 to about 1 1, in some embodiments about 10 to about 12, in some embodiments about 11 to about 13, and in some embodiments about 12 to about 14, determined at 25 °C. In some embodiments, the protonated base may have a pK a of greater than about 5, greater less than about 7, greater than about 9, or greater than about 1 1, determined at 25 °C.

[0074] In certain embodiments, the hydrophobic base may be chosen, at least in part, on the basis of the difference between the pK a of the protonated form of the hydrophobic base and the pK a of an acidic therapeutic agent. For example, in some instances, the difference between the pK a of the protonated hydrophobic base and the pK a of an acidic therapeutic agent may be between about 1 pK a unit and about 15 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 1 pK a unit and about 10 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 1 pK a unit and about 5 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 1 pKa unit and about 3 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 1 pK a unit and about 2 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 2 pK a units and about 15 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 2 pK a units and about 10 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 2 pK a units and about 5 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 2 pK a units and about 3 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 3 pK a units and about 15 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 3 pK a units and about 10 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 3 pK a units and about 5 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 4 pKa units and about 15 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 4 pK a units and about 10 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 4 pK a units and about 6 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 5 pK a units and about 15 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 5 pK a units and about 10 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 5 pK a units and about 7 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 7 pK a units and about 15 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 7 pK a units and about 9 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 9 pK a units and about 15 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 9 pK a units and about 11 pK a units, in some embodiments between about 1 1 pK a units and about 13 pKa units, and in some embodiments between about 13 pK a units and about 15 pK a units, determined at 25 °C.

[0075] In some instances, the difference between the pK a of the protonated hydrophobic base and the pK a of an acidic therapeutic agent may be at least about 1 pK a unit, in some embodiments at least about 2 pK a units, in some embodiments at least about 3 pK a units, in some embodiments at least about 4 pK a units, in some embodiments at least about 5 pK a units, in some embodiments at least about 6 pK a units, in some embodiments at least about 7 pK a units, in some embodiments at least about 8 pKa units, in some embodiments at least about 9 pK a units, in some embodiments at least about 10 pK a units, and in some embodiments at least about 15 pK a units, determined at 25 °C.

[0076] In some embodiments, the hydrophobic base may have a logP of between about

2 and about 15, in some embodiments between about 5 and about 15, in some embodiments between about 5 and about 10, in some embodiments between about 2 and about 8, in some embodiments between about 4 and about 8, in some embodiments between about 2 and about 7, or in some embodiments between about 4 and about 7. In some instances, the hydrophobic base may have a logP greater than about 2, greater than about 4, greater than about 5, or greater than 6.

[0077] In some embodiments, a contemplated hydrophobic base may have a phase transition temperature that is advantageous, for example, for improving the properties of the therapeutic nanoparticles. For instance, the base may have a melting point of less than about 300 °C, in some cases less than about 100 °C, in some cases less than about 50 °C, and in some cases less than about 25 °C. In certain embodiments, the base may have a melting point of between about 5 °C and about 25 °C, in some cases between about 15 °C and about 50 °C, in some cases between about 30 °C and about 100 °C, in some cases between about 75 °C and about 150 °C, in some cases between about 125 °C and about 200 °C, in some cases between about 150 °C and about 250 °C, and in some cases between about 200 °C and about 300 °C. In some cases, the base may have a melting point of less than about 15 °C, in some cases less than about 10 °C, or in some cases less than about 0 °C. In certain embodiments, the base may have a melting point of between about -30 °C and about 0 °C or in some cases between about -20 °C and about -10 °C.

[0078] For example, a hydrophobic base for use in methods and nanoparticles disclosed herein may be chosen, at least in part, on the basis of the solubility of the acidic therapeutic agent in a solvent comprising the hydrophobic base. For example, in some embodiments, an acidic therapeutic agent dissolved in a solvent comprising the hydrophobic base may have a solubility of between about 15 mg/mL to about 200 mg/mL, between about 20 mg/mL to about 200 mg/mL, between about 25 mg/mL to about 200 mg/mL, between about 50 mg/mL to about 200 mg/mL, between about 75 mg/mL to about 200 mg/mL, between about 100 mg/mL to about 200 mg/mL, between about 125 mg/mL to about 175 mg/mL, between about 15 mg/mL to about 50 mg/mL, between about 25 mg/mL to about 75 mg/mL. In some embodiments, an acidic therapeutic agent dissolved in a solvent comprising the base may have a solubility greater than about 10 mg/mL, greater than about 50 mg/mL, or greater than about 100 mg/mL. In some embodiments, an acidic therapeutic agent dissolved in a solvent comprising the hydrophobic base (e.g., a first solution consisting of the acidic therapeutic agent, solvent, and hydrophobic base) may have a solubility of at least about 2 times greater, in some embodiments at least about 5 times greater, in some embodiments at least about 10 times greater, in some embodiments at least about 20 times greater, in some embodiments about 2 times to about 20 times greater or in some embodiments about 10 times to about 20 times greater than when the acidic therapeutic agent is dissolved in a solvent that does not contain the hydrophobic base (e.g. , a second solution consisting of the acidic therapeutic agent and the solvent).

[0079] In some instances, the concentration of hydrophobic base in a drug solution (i.e., an acidic therapeutic agent solution) may be between about 1 weight percent and about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 2 weight percent and about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 3 weight percent and about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 4 weight percent and about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 5 weight percent and about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 6 weight percent and about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 8 weight percent and about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 10 weight percent and about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 12 weight percent and about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 14 weight percent and about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 16 weight percent and about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 1 weight percent and about 5 weight percent, in some

embodiments between about 3 weight percent and about 9 weight percent, in some

embodiments between about 6 weight percent and about 12 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 9 weight percent and about 15 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 12 weight percent and about 18 weight percent, and in some embodiments between about 15 weight percent and about 21 weight percent. In certain embodiments, the concentration of hydrophobic base in a drug solution may be at least about 1 weight percent, in some embodiments at least about 2 weight percent, in some embodiments at least about 3 weight percent, in some embodiments at least about 5 weight percent, in some embodiments at least about 10 weight percent, in some embodiments at least about 15 weight percent, and in some embodiments at least about 20 weight percent.

[0080] In certain embodiments, the molar ratio of hydrophobic base to acidic therapeutic agent (e.g., initially during formulation of the nanoparticles and/or in the nanoparticles) may be between about 0.25: 1 to about 6: 1, in some embodiments between about 0.25:1 to about 5:1, in some embodiments between about 0.25:1 to about 4:1, in some embodiments between about 0.25:1 to about 3:1, in some embodiments between about 0.25:1 to about 2:1, in some embodiments between about 0.25:1 to about 1.5:1, in some embodiments between about 0.25:1 to about 1:1, in some embodiments between about 0.25:1 to about 0.5:1, in some embodiments between about 0.5: 1 to about 6: 1, in some embodiments between about 0.5:1 to about 5:1, in some embodiments between about 0.5:1 to about 4:1, in some

embodiments between about 0.5:1 to about 3:1, in some embodiments between about 0.5:1 to about 2:1, in some embodiments between about 0.5:1 to about 1.5:1, in some embodiments between about 0.5:1 to about 1:1, in some embodiments between about 0.5:1 to about 0.75:1, in some embodiments between about 0.75: 1 to about 2:1, in some embodiments between about 0.75:1 to about 1.5:1, in some embodiments between about 0.75:1 to about 1.25:1, in some embodiments between about 0.75:1 to about 1:1, in some embodiments between about 1:1 to about 6:1, in some embodiments between about 1:1 to about 5:1, in some embodiments between about 1 : 1 to about 4: 1, in some embodiments between about 1 : 1 to about 3: 1, in some embodiments between about 1 : 1 to about 2: 1 , in some embodiments between about 1 : 1 to about 1.5:1, in some embodiments between about 1.5:1 to about 6:1, in some embodiments between about 1.5:1 to about 5:1, in some embodiments between about 1.5:1 to about 4:1, in some embodiments between about 1.5:1 to about 3:1, in some embodiments between about 2:1 to about 6:1, in some embodiments between about 2:1 to about 4:1, in some embodiments between about 3: 1 to about 6: 1, in some embodiments between about 3: 1 to about 5:1, and in some embodiments between about 4:1 to about 6:1.

[0081] In some instances, the initial molar ratio of hydrophobic base to acidic therapeutic agent (i.e., during formulation of the nanoparticles) may be different from the molar ratio of hydrophobic base to acidic therapeutic agent in the nanoparticles (i.e., after removal of unencapsulated hydrophobic base and acidic therapeutic agent). In other instances, the initial molar ratio of hydrophobic base to acidic therapeutic agent (i.e., during formulation of the nanoparticles) may be essentially the same as the molar ratio of hydrophobic base to acidic therapeutic agent in the nanoparticles (i.e., after removal of unencapsulated hydrophobic base and acidic therapeutic agent).

[0082] In some cases, a solution containing the acidic therapeutic agent may be prepared separately from a solution containing the polymer, and the two solutions may then be combined prior to nanoparticle formulation. For instance, in one embodiment, a first solution contains the acidic therapeutic agent and the hydrophobic base, and a second solution contains the polymer and optionally the hydrophobic base. Formulations where the second solution does not contain the hydrophobic base may be advantageous, for example, for minimizing the amount of hydrophobic base used in a process or, in some cases, for minimizing contact time between the hydrophobic base and, e.g., a polymer that can degrade in the presence of the hydrophobic base. In other cases, a single solution may be prepared containing the acidic therapeutic agent, polymer, and hydrophobic base.

[0083] In some embodiments, the hydrophobic ion pair may be formed prior to formulation of the nanoparticles. For example, a solution containing the hydrophobic ion pair may be prepared prior to formulating the contemplated nanoparticles (e.g. , by preparing a solution containing suitable amounts of the acidic therapeutic agent and the hydrophobic base). In other embodiments, the hydrophobic ion pair may be formed during formulation of the nanoparticles. For example, a first solution containing the acidic therapeutic agent and a second solution containing the hydrophobic base may be combined during a process step for preparing the nanoparticles (e.g., prior to emulsion formation and/or during emulation formation). In certain embodiments, the hydrophobic ion pair may form prior to encapsulation of the acidic therapeutic agent and hydrophobic base in a contemplated nanoparticle. In other embodiments, the hydrophobic ion pair may form in the nanoparticle, e.g., after encapsulation of the acidic therapeutic agent and hydrophobic base.

[0084] In certain embodiments, the hydrophobic base may have a solubility of less than about 2 g per 100 mL of water, in some embodiments less than about 1 g per 100 mL of water, in some embodiments less than about 100 mg per 100 mL of water, in some embodiments less than about 10 mg per 100 mL of water, and in some embodiments less than about 1 mg per 100 mL of water, determined at 25 °C. In other embodiments, the hydrophobic base may have a solubility of between about 1 mg per 100 mL of water to about 2 g per 100 mL of water, in some embodiments between about 1 mg per 100 mL of water to about 1 g per 100 mL of water, in some embodiments between about 1 mg per 100 mL of water to about 500 mg per 100 mL of water, and in some embodiments between about 1 mg per 100 mL of water to about 100 mg per 100 mL of water, determined at 25 °C. In some embodiments, the hydrophobic base may be essentially insoluble in water at 25 °C.

[0085] In some embodiments, disclosed nanoparticles may be essentially free of the hydrophobic base used during the preparation of the nanoparticles. In other embodiments, disclosed nanoparticles may comprise the hydrophobic base. For instance, in some embodiments, the hydrophobic base content in disclosed nanoparticles may be between about 0.05 weight percent to about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 0.5 weight percent to about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 1 weight percent to about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 2 weight percent to about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 3 weight percent to about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 5 weight percent to about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 7 weight percent to about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 10 weight percent to about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 15 weight percent to about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 20 weight percent to about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 0.05 weight percent to about 0.5 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 0.05 weight percent to about 5 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 1 weight percent to about 5 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 3 weight percent to about 10 weight percent, in some embodiments between about 5 weight percent to about 15 weight percent, and in some embodiments between about 10 weight percent to about 20 weight percent.

[0086] In some embodiments, disclosed nanoparticles substantially immediately release

(e.g., over about 1 minute to about 30 minutes, about 1 minute to about 25 minutes, about 5 minutes to about 30 minutes, about 5 minutes to about 1 hour, about 1 hour, or about 24 hours) less than about 2%, less than about 5%, less than about 10%, less than about 15%, less than about 20%, less than about 25%, less than about 30%, or less than 40% of the acidic therapeutic agent, for example when placed in a phosphate buffer solution at room temperature (e.g., 25 °C) and/or at 37 °C. In certain embodiments, nanoparticles comprising an acidic therapeutic agent may release the acidic therapeutic agent when placed in an aqueous solution (e.g. , a phosphate buffer solution), e.g., at 25 °C and/or at 37 °C, at a rate substantially corresponding to about 0.01 to about 50%, in some embodiments about 0.01 to about 25%, in some embodiments about 0.01 to about 15%, in some embodiments about 0.01 to about 10%, in some embodiments about 1 to about 40%, in some embodiments about 5 to about 40%, and in some embodiments about 10 to about 40% of the acidic therapeutic agent released over about 1 hour. In some embodiments, nanoparticles comprising an acidic therapeutic agent may release the acidic therapeutic agent when placed in an aqueous solution (e.g., a phosphate buffer solution), e.g., at 25 °C and/or at 37 °C, at a rate substantially corresponding to about 10 to about 70%, in some embodiments about 10 to about 45%, in some embodiments about 10 to about 35%, or in some embodiments about 10 to about 25%, of the acidic therapeutic agent released over about 4 hours.

[0087] In some embodiments, disclosed nanoparticles may substantially retain the acidic therapeutic agent, e.g., for at least about 1 minute, at least about 1 hour, or more, when placed in a phosphate buffer solution at 37 °C.

[0088] In one embodiment, disclosed therapeutic nanoparticles may include a targeting ligand, e.g., a low-molecular weight ligand. In certain embodiments, the low-molecular weight ligand is conjugated to a polymer, and the nanoparticle comprises a certain ratio of ligand- conjugated polymer (e.g., PLA-PEG-Ligand) to non-functionalized polymer (e.g. , PLA-PEG or PLGA-PEG). The nanoparticle can have an optimized ratio of these two polymers such that an effective amount of ligand is associated with the nanoparticle for treatment of a disease or disorder, such as cancer. For example, an increased ligand density may increase target binding (cell binding/target uptake), making the nanoparticle "target specific." Alternatively, a certain concentration of non-functionalized polymer (e.g. , non-functionalized PLGA-PEG copolymer) in the nanoparticle can control inflammation and/or immunogenicity (i.e., the ability to provoke an immune response), and allow the nanoparticle to have a circulation half-life that is adequate for the treatment of a disease or disorder. Furthermore, the non-functionalized polymer may, in some embodiments, lower the rate of clearance from the circulatory system via the

reticuloendothelial system (RES). Thus, the non-functionalized polymer may provide the nanoparticle with characteristics that may allow the particle to travel through the body upon administration. In some embodiments, a non-functionalized polymer may balance an otherwise high concentration of ligands, which can otherwise accelerate clearance by the subject, resulting in less delivery to the target cells.

[0089] In some embodiments, nanoparticles disclosed herein may include

functionalized polymers conjugated to a ligand that constitute approximately 0.1 - 50, e.g. , 0.1 - 30, e.g. , 0.1 - 20, e.g. , 0.1 - 10 mole percent of the entire polymer composition of the nanoparticle (i.e., functionalized + non-functionalized polymer). Also disclosed herein, in another embodiment, are nanoparticles that include a polymer conjugated (e.g., covalently with (i.e. , through a linker (e.g. , an alkylene linker)) or a bond) with one or more low- molecular weight ligands, wherein the weight percent low-molecular weight ligand with respect to total polymer is between about 0.001 and 5, e.g. , between about 0.001 and 2, e.g. , between about 0.001 and 1.

[0090] In some embodiments, disclosed nanoparticles may be able to bind efficiently to or otherwise associate with a biological entity, for example, a particular membrane component or cell surface receptor. Targeting of a therapeutic agent (e.g., to a particular tissue or cell type, to a specific diseased tissue but not to normal tissue, etc.) is desirable for the treatment of tissue specific diseases such as solid tumor cancers (e.g. , prostate cancer). For example, in contrast to systemic delivery of a cytotoxic anti-cancer agent, the nanoparticles disclosed herein may substantially prevent the agent from killing healthy cells. Additionally, disclosed nanoparticles may allow for the administration of a lower dose of the agent (as compared to an effective amount of agent administered without disclosed nanoparticles or formulations) which may reduce the undesirable side effects commonly associated with traditional chemotherapy.

[0091] In general, a "nanoparticle" refers to any particle having a diameter of less than

1000 nm, e.g., about 10 nm to about 200 nm. Disclosed therapeutic nanoparticles may include nanoparticles having a diameter of about 60 to about 120 nm, or about 70 to about 120 nm, or about 80 to about 120 nm, or about 90 to about 120 nm, or about 100 to about 120 nm, or about 60 to about 130 nm, or about 70 to about 130 nm, or about 80 to about 130 nm, or about 90 to about 130 nm, or about 100 to about 130 nm, or about 110 to about 130 nm, or about 60 to about 140 nm, or about 70 to about 140 nm, or about 80 to about 140 nm, or about 90 to about 140 nm, or about 100 to about 140 nm, or about 110 to about 140 nm, or about 60 to about 150 nm, or about 70 to about 150 nm, or about 80 to about 150 nm, or about 90 to about 150 nm, or about 100 to about 150 nm, or about 110 to about 150 nm, or about 120 to about 150 nm.

Polymers

[0092] In some embodiments, the nanoparticles may comprise a matrix of polymers and a therapeutic agent. In some embodiments, a therapeutic agent and/or targeting moiety (i.e. , a low-molecular weight ligand) can be associated with at least part of the polymeric matrix. For example, in some embodiments, a targeting moiety (e.g., ligand) can be covalently associated with the surface of a polymeric matrix. In some embodiments, covalent association is mediated by a linker. The therapeutic agent can be associated with the surface of, encapsulated within, surrounded by, and/or dispersed throughout the polymeric matrix.

[0093] A wide variety of polymers and methods for forming particles therefrom are known in the art of drug delivery. In some embodiments, the disclosure is directed toward nanoparticles with at least two macromolecules, wherein the first macromolecule comprises a first polymer bound to a low-molecular weight ligand (e.g., targeting moiety); and the second macromolecule comprising a second polymer that is not bound to a targeting moiety. The nanoparticle can optionally include one or more additional, unfunctionalized, polymers.

[0094] Any suitable polymer can be used in the disclosed nanoparticles. Polymers can be natural or unnatural (synthetic) polymers. Polymers can be homopolymers or copolymers comprising two or more monomers. In terms of sequence, copolymers can be random, block, or comprise a combination of random and block sequences. Typically, polymers are organic polymers.

[0095] The term "polymer," as used herein, is given its ordinary meaning as used in the art, i.e., a molecular structure comprising one or more repeat units (monomers), connected by covalent bonds. The repeat units may all be identical, or in some cases, there may be more than one type of repeat unit present within the polymer. In some cases, the polymer can be biologically derived, i.e., a biopolymer. Non-limiting examples include peptides or proteins. In some cases, additional moieties may also be present in the polymer, for example biological moieties such as those described below. If more than one type of repeat unit is present within the polymer, then the polymer is said to be a "copolymer." It is to be understood that in any embodiment employing a polymer, the polymer being employed may be a copolymer in some cases. The repeat units forming the copolymer may be arranged in any fashion. For example, the repeat units may be arranged in a random order, in an alternating order, or as a block copolymer, i.e., comprising one or more regions each comprising a first repeat unit (e.g., a first block), and one or more regions each comprising a second repeat unit (e.g., a second block), etc. Block copolymers may have two (a diblock copolymer), three (a triblock copolymer), or more numbers of distinct blocks.

[0096] Disclosed particles can include copolymers, which, in some embodiments, describes two or more polymers (such as those described herein) that have been associated with each other, usually by covalent bonding of the two or more polymers together. Thus, a copolymer may comprise a first polymer and a second polymer, which have been conjugated together to form a block copolymer where the first polymer can be a first block of the block copolymer and the second polymer can be a second block of the block copolymer. Of course, those of ordinary skill in the art will understand that a block copolymer may, in some cases, contain multiple blocks of polymer, and that a "block copolymer," as used herein, is not limited to only block copolymers having only a single first block and a single second block. For instance, a block copolymer may comprise a first block comprising a first polymer, a second block comprising a second polymer, and a third block comprising a third polymer or the first polymer, etc. In some cases, block copolymers can contain any number of first blocks of a first polymer and second blocks of a second polymer (and in certain cases, third blocks, fourth blocks, etc.). In addition, it should be noted that block copolymers can also be formed, in some instances, from other block copolymers. For example, a first block copolymer may be conjugated to another polymer (which may be a homopolymer, a biopolymer, another block copolymer, etc), to form a new block copolymer containing multiple types of blocks, and/or to other moieties (e.g., to non-polymeric moieties).

[0097] In some embodiments, the polymer (e.g., copolymer, e.g., block copolymer) can be amphiphilic, i.e., having a hydrophilic portion and a hydrophobic portion, or a relatively hydrophilic portion and a relatively hydrophobic portion. A hydrophilic polymer can be one that generally that attracts water and a hydrophobic polymer can be one that generally repels water. A hydrophilic or a hydrophobic polymer can be identified, for example, by preparing a sample of the polymer and measuring its contact angle with water (typically, the polymer will have a contact angle of less than 60°, while a hydrophobic polymer will have a contact angle of greater than about 60°). In some cases, the hydrophilicity of two or more polymers may be measured relative to each other, i.e., a first polymer may be more hydrophilic than a second polymer. For instance, the first polymer may have a smaller contact angle than the second polymer.

[0098] In one set of embodiments, a polymer (e.g., copolymer, e.g., block copolymer) contemplated herein includes a biocompatible polymer, i.e., the polymer that does not typically induce an adverse response when inserted or injected into a living subject, for example, without significant inflammation and/or acute rejection of the polymer by the immune system, for instance, via a T-cell response. Accordingly, the therapeutic particles contemplated herein can be non-immunogenic. The term "non-immunogenic" as used herein refers to endogenous growth factor in its native state which normally elicits no, or only minimal levels of, circulating antibodies, T-cells, or reactive immune cells, and which normally does not elicit in the individual an immune response against itself.

[0099] Biocompatibility typically refers to the acute rejection of material by at least a portion of the immune system, i.e., a nonbiocompatible material implanted into a subject provokes an immune response in the subject that can be severe enough such that the rejection of the material by the immune system cannot be adequately controlled, and often is of a degree such that the material must be removed from the subject. One simple test to determine biocompatibility can be to expose a polymer to cells in vitro; biocompatible polymers are polymers that typically will not result in significant cell death at moderate concentrations, e.g., at concentrations of 50 micrograms/10 6 cells. For instance, a biocompatible polymer may cause less than about 20% cell death when exposed to cells such as fibroblasts or epithelial cells, even if phagocytosed or otherwise uptaken by such cells. Non-limiting examples of biocompatible polymers that may be useful in various embodiments include polydioxanone (PDO), polyhydroxyalkanoate, polyhydroxybutyrate, poly(glycerol sebacate), polyglycolide (i.e. , poly (gly colic) acid) (PGA), polylactide (i.e. , poly(lactic) acid) (PLA), poly(lactic) acid- co-poly(gly colic) acid (PLGA), polycaprolactone, or copolymers or derivatives including these and/or other polymers.

[00100] In certain embodiments, contemplated biocompatible polymers may be biodegradable, i.e., the polymer is able to degrade, chemically and/or biologically, within a physiological environment, such as within the body. As used herein, "biodegradable" polymers are those that, when introduced into cells, are broken down by the cellular machinery

(biologically degradable) and/or by a chemical process, such as hydrolysis, (chemically degradable) into components that the cells can either reuse or dispose of without significant toxic effect on the cells. In one embodiment, the biodegradable polymer and their degradation byproducts can be biocompatible.

[00101] Particles disclosed herein may or may not contain PEG. In addition, certain embodiments can be directed towards copolymers containing poly(ester-ether)s, e.g., polymers having repeat units joined by ester bonds (e.g., R-C(0)-0-R' bonds) and ether bonds (e.g., R-O- R' bonds). In some embodiments, a biodegradable polymer, such as a hydrolyzable polymer, containing carboxylic acid groups, may be conjugated with poly(ethylene glycol) repeat units to form a poly(ester-ether). A polymer (e.g., copolymer, e.g., block copolymer) containing poly(ethylene glycol) repeat units can also be referred to as a "PEGylated" polymer.

[00102] For instance, a contemplated polymer may be one that hydrolyzes spontaneously upon exposure to water (e.g., within a subject), or the polymer may degrade upon exposure to heat (e.g., at temperatures of about 37°C). Degradation of a polymer may occur at varying rates, depending on the polymer or copolymer used. For example, the half-life of the polymer (the time at which 50% of the polymer can be degraded into monomers and/or other nonpolymeric moieties) may be on the order of days, weeks, months, or years, depending on the polymer. The polymers may be biologically degraded, e.g., by enzymatic activity or cellular machinery, in some cases, for example, through exposure to a lysozyme (e.g., having relatively low pH). In some cases, the polymers may be broken down into monomers and/or other nonpolymeric moieties that cells can either reuse or dispose of without significant toxic effect on the cells (for example, polylactide may be hydrolyzed to form lactic acid, polyglycolide may be hydrolyzed to form gly colic acid, etc.).

[00103] In some embodiments, polymers may be polyesters, including copolymers comprising lactic acid and gly colic acid units, such as poly(lactic acid-co-gly colic acid) and poly(lactide-co-glycolide), collectively referred to herein as "PLGA"; and homopolymers comprising gly colic acid units, referred to herein as "PGA," and lactic acid units, such as poly- L-lactic acid, poly-D-lactic acid, poly-D,L-lactic acid, poly-L-lactide, poly-D-lactide, and poly- D,L-lactide, collectively referred to herein as "PLA." In some embodiments, exemplary polyesters include, for example, polyhydroxyacids; PEGylated polymers and copolymers of lactide and glycolide (e.g., PEGylated PLA, PEGylated PGA, PEGylated PLGA, and derivatives thereof). In some embodiments, polyesters include, for example, polyanhydrides, poly(ortho ester), PEGylated poly(ortho ester), poly(caprolactone), PEGylated

poly(caprolactone), polylysine, PEGylated polylysine, poly(ethylene imine), PEGylated poly(ethylene imine), poly(L-lactide-co-L-lysine), poly(serine ester), poly(4-hydroxy-L-proline ester), poly [a-(4-aminobutyl)-L-gly colic acid], and derivatives thereof.

[00104] In some embodiments, a polymer may be PLGA. PLGA is a biocompatible and biodegradable co-polymer of lactic acid and gly colic acid, and various forms of PLGA can be characterized by the ratio of lactic acid:gly colic acid. Lactic acid can be L-lactic acid, D-lactic acid, or D,L-lactic acid. The degradation rate of PLGA can be adjusted by altering the lactic acid-gly colic acid ratio. In some embodiments, PLGA can be characterized by a lactic acid:gly colic acid ratio of approximately 85: 15, approximately 75:25, approximately 60:40, approximately 50:50, approximately 40:60, approximately 25:75, or approximately 15:85.

[00105] In some embodiments, the ratio of lactic acid to gly colic acid monomers in the polymer of the particle (e.g., the PLGA block copolymer or PLGA-PEG block copolymer) may be selected to optimize for various parameters such as water uptake, therapeutic agent release and/or polymer degradation kinetics can be optimized.

[00106] In some embodiments, polymers may be one or more acrylic polymers. In certain embodiments, acrylic polymers include, for example, acrylic acid and methacrylic acid copolymers, methyl methacrylate copolymers, ethoxyethyl methacrylates, cyanoethyl methacrylate, amino alkyl methacrylate copolymer, poly(acrylic acid), poly(methacrylic acid), methacrylic acid alkylamide copolymer, poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(methacrylic acid) polyacrylamide, amino alkyl methacrylate copolymer, glycidyl methacrylate copolymers, polycyanoacrylates, and combinations comprising one or more of the foregoing polymers. The acrylic polymer may comprise fully -polymerized copolymers of acrylic and methacrylic acid esters with a low content of quaternary ammonium groups.

[00107] In some embodiments, polymers can be cationic polymers. In general, cationic polymers are able to condense and/or protect negatively charged strands of nucleic acids (e.g., DNA, RNA, or derivatives thereof). Amine-containing polymers such as poly(lysine), polyethylene imine (PEI), and poly(amidoamine) dendrimers are contemplated for use, in some embodiments, in a disclosed particle.

[00108] In some embodiments, polymers can be degradable polyesters bearing cationic side chains. Examples of these polyesters include poly(L-lactide-co-L-lysine), poly(serine ester), and poly(4-hydroxy-L-proline ester).

[00109] It is contemplated that PEG may be terminated and include an end group, for example, when PEG is not conjugated to a ligand. For example, PEG may terminate in a hydroxyl, a methoxy or other alkoxyl group, a methyl or other alkyl group, an aryl group, a carboxylic acid, an amine, an amide, an acetyl group, a guanidino group, or an imidazole.

Other contemplated end groups include azide, alkyne, maleimide, aldehyde, hydrazide, hydroxylamine, alkoxyamine, or thiol moieties.

[00110] Those of ordinary skill in the art will know of methods and techniques for

PEGylating a polymer, for example, by using EDC (l-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide hydrochloride) and NHS (N-hydroxysuccinimide) to react a polymer to a PEG group terminating in an amine, by ring opening polymerization techniques (ROMP), or the like.

[00111] In one embodiment, the molecular weight (or e.g. , the ratio of molecular weights of, e.g. , different blocks of a copolymer) of the polymers can be optimized for effective treatment as disclosed herein. For example, the molecular weight of a polymer may influence particle degradation rate (such as when the molecular weight of a biodegradable polymer can be adjusted), solubility, water uptake, and drug release kinetics. For example, the molecular weight of the polymer (or e.g., the ratio of molecular weights of, e.g., different blocks of a copolymer) can be adjusted such that the particle biodegrades in the subject being treated within a reasonable period of time (ranging from a few hours to 1-2 weeks, 3-4 weeks, 5-6 weeks, 7-8 weeks, etc.).

[00112] A disclosed particle can for example comprise a diblock copolymer of PEG and PL(G)A, wherein for example, the PEG portion may have a number average molecular weight of about 1,000-20,000, e.g., about 2,000-20,000, e.g., about 2 to about 10,000, and the PL(G)A portion may have a number average molecular weight of about 5,000 to about 20,000, or about 5,000-100,000, e.g., about 20,000-70,000, e.g. , about 15,000-50,000.

[00113] For example, disclosed here is an exemplary therapeutic nanoparticle that includes about 10 to about 99 weight percent poly (lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer or poly(lactic)-co-poly (gly colic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer, or about 20 to about 80 weight percent, about 40 to about 80 weight percent, or about 30 to about 50 weight percent, or about 70 to about 90 weight percent poly(lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer or poly(lactic)-co-poly (glycolic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer. Exemplary poly(lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymers can include a number average molecular weight of about 15 to about 20 kDa, or about 10 to about 25 kDa of poly (lactic) acid and a number average molecular weight of about 4 to about 6 kDa, or about 2 to about 10 kDa of poly (ethylene)gly col.

[00114] In some embodiments, the poly(lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer may have a poly(lactic) acid number average molecular weight fraction of about 0.6 to about 0.95, in some embodiments between about 0.7 to about 0.9, in some embodiments between about 0.6 to about 0.8, in some embodiments between about 0.7 to about 0.8, in some embodiments between about 0.75 to about 0.85, in some embodiments between about 0.8 to about 0.9, and in some embodiments between about 0.85 to about 0.95. It should be

understood that the poly(lactic) acid number average molecular weight fraction may be calculated by dividing the number average molecular weight of the poly(lactic) acid component of the copolymer by the sum of the number average molecular weight of the poly(lactic) acid component and the number average molecular weight of the poly(ethylene)glycol component.

[00115] Disclosed nanoparticles may optionally include about 1 to about 50 weight percent poly(lactic) acid or poly(lactic) acid-co-poly (gly colic) acid (which does not include PEG), or may optionally include about 1 to about 50 weight percent, or about 10 to about 50 weight percent or about 30 to about 50 weight percent poly(lactic) acid or poly(lactic) acid-co- poly (gly colic) acid. For example, poly(lactic) or poly(lactic)-co-poly(gly colic) acid may have a number average molecule weight of about 5 to about 15 kDa, or about 5 to about 12 kDa. Exemplary PLA may have a number average molecular weight of about 5 to about 10 kDa. Exemplary PLGA may have a number average molecular weight of about 8 to about 12 kDa.

[00116] A therapeutic nanoparticle may, in some embodiments, contain about 10 to about 30 weight percent, in some embodiments about 10 to about 25 weight percent, in some embodiments about 10 to about 20 weight percent, in some embodiments about 10 to about 15 weight percent, in some embodiments about 15 to about 20 weight percent, in some embodiments about 15 to about 25 weight percent, in some embodiments about 20 to about 25 weight percent, in some embodiments about 20 to about 30 weight percent, or in some embodiments about 25 to about 30 weight percent of poly(ethylene)glycol, where the poly(ethylene)glycol may be present as a poly(lactic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer, poly(lactic)-co-poly (gly colic) acid-poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer, or poly(ethylene)glycol homopolymer. In certain embodiments, the polymers of the nanoparticles can be conjugated to a lipid. The polymer can be, for example, a lipid-terminated PEG.

Targeting Moieties

[00117] Provided herein, in some embodiments, are nanoparticles that may include an optional targeting moiety, i. e. , a moiety able to bind to or otherwise associate with a biological entity, for example, a membrane component, a cell surface receptor, an antigen, or the like. A targeting moiety present on the surface of the particle may allow the particle to become localized at a particular targeting site, for instance, a tumor, a disease site, a tissue, an organ, a type of cell, etc. As such, the nanoparticle may then be "target specific." The drug or other payload may then, in some cases, be released from the particle and allowed to interact locally with the particular targeting site. [00118] In one embodiment, a disclosed nanoparticle includes a targeting moiety that is a low-molecular weight ligand. The term "bind" or "binding," as used herein, refers to the interaction between a corresponding pair of molecules or portions thereof that exhibit mutual affinity or binding capacity, typically due to specific or non-specific binding or interaction, including, but not limited to, biochemical, physiological, and/or chemical interactions.

"Biological binding" defines a type of interaction that occurs between pairs of molecules including proteins, nucleic acids, glycoproteins, carbohydrates, hormones, or the like. The term "binding partner" refers to a molecule that can undergo binding with a particular molecule. "Specific binding" refers to molecules, such as polynucleotides, that are able to bind to or recognize a binding partner (or a limited number of binding partners) to a substantially higher degree than to other, similar biological entities. In one set of embodiments, the targeting moiety has an affinity (as measured via a disassociation constant) of less than about 1 micromolar, at least about 10 micromolar, or at least about 100 micromolar.

[00119] For example, a targeting portion may cause the particles to become localized to a tumor (e.g. , a solid tumor), a disease site, a tissue, an organ, a type of cell, etc. within the body of a subject, depending on the targeting moiety used. For example, a low-molecular weight ligand may become localized to a solid tumor, e.g., breast or prostate tumors or cancer cells. The subject may be a human or non-human animal. Examples of subjects include, but are not limited to, a mammal such as a dog, a cat, a horse, a donkey, a rabbit, a cow, a pig, a sheep, a goat, a rat, a mouse, a guinea pig, a hamster, a primate, a human or the like.

[00120] Contemplated targeting moieties may include small molecules. In certain embodiments, the term "small molecule" refers to organic compounds, whether naturally- occurring or artificially created (e.g. , via chemical synthesis) that have relatively low molecular weight and that are not proteins, polypeptides, or nucleic acids. Small molecules typically have multiple carbon-carbon bonds. In certain embodiments, small molecules are less than about 2000 g/mol in size. In some embodiments, small molecules are less than about 1500 g/mol or less than about 1000 g/mol. In some embodiments, small molecules are less than about 800 g/mol or less than about 500 g/mol, for example about 100 g/mol to about 600 g/mol, or about 200 g/mol to about 500 g/mol.

[00121] In some embodiments, the low-molecular weight ligand is of the Formulae I, II, III or IV:

I II III IV 1 and enantiomers, stereoisomers, rotamers, tautomers, diastereomers, or racemates thereof;

wherein m and n are each, independently, 0, 1, 2 or 3; p is 0 or 1 ;

R 1 , R 2 , R 4 , and R 5 are each, independently, selected from the group consisting of substituted or unsubstituted alkyl (e.g. , Ci-io-alkyl, Ci-6-alkyl, or Ci-4-alkyl), substituted or unsubstituted aryl (e.g., phenyl or pyridinyl), and any combination thereof; and R 3 is H or C 1-6 - alkyl (e.g. , CH 3 ).

[00122] For compounds of Formulae I, II, III and IV, R 1 , R 2 , R 4 or R 5 comprise points of attachment to the nanoparticle, e.g. , a point of attachment to a polymer that forms part of a disclosed nanoparticle, e.g. , PEG. The point of attachment may be formed by a covalent bond, ionic bond, hydrogen bond, a bond formed by adsorption including chemical adsorption and physical adsorption, a bond formed from van der Waals bonds, or dispersion forces. For example, if R 1 , R 2 , R 4 , or R 5 are defined as an aniline or Ci-6-alkyl-NH 2 group, any hydrogen (e.g. , an amino hydrogen) of these functional groups could be removed such that the low- molecular weight ligand is covalently bound to the polymeric matrix (e.g., the PEG-block of the polymeric matrix) of the nanoparticle. As used herein, the term "covalent bond" refers to a bond between two atoms formed by sharing at least one pair of electrons.

[00123] In particular embodiments of the Formulae I, II, III or IV, R 1 , R 2 , R 4 , and R 5 are each, independently, Ci-6-alkyl or phenyl, or any combination of Ci-6-alkyl or phenyl, which are independently substituted one or more times with OH, SH, NH 2 , or CO 2 H, and wherein the alkyl group may be interrupted by N(H), S, or O. In another embodiment, R 1 , R 2 , R 4 ,and R 5 are each, independently, CH 2 -Ph, (CH 2 ) 2 -SH, CH 2 -SH, (CH 2 ) 2 C(H)(NH 2 )C0 2 H,

CH 2 C(H)(NH 2 )C0 2 H, CH(NH 2 )CH 2 C0 2 H, (CH 2 ) 2 C(H)(SH)C0 2 H, CH 2 -N(H)-Ph, 0-CH 2 -Ph, or 0-(CH 2 ) 2 -Ph, wherein each Ph may be independently substituted one or more times with OH, NH 2 , C0 2 H, or SH. For these formulae, the NH 2 , OH or SH groups serve as the point of covalent attachment to the nanoparticle (e.g. , -N(H)-PEG, -O-PEG, or -S-PEG).

[00124] Exemplary ligands include:

and enantiomers, stereoisomers, rotamers, tautomers, diastereomers, or racemates thereof, wherein the NH 2 , OH, or SH groups serve as the point of covalent attachment to the nanoparticle (e.g. , -N(H)-PEG, -O-PEG, or -S-PEG) or ^ indicates the point of attachment to the nanoparticle, wherein n is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, and wherein R is independently selected from the group consisting of NH 2 , SH, OH, C0 2 H, Ci -6 -alkyl that is substituted with NH 2 , SH, OH, or C0 2 H, and phenyl that is substituted with NH 2 , SH, OH, or C0 2 H, and wherein R serves as the point of covalent attachment to the nanoparticle (e.g., -N(H)-PEG, -S-PEG, -O-PEG, or C0 2 -PEG). These compounds may be further substituted with NH 2 , SH, OH, C0 2 H, Ci-6-alkyl that is substituted with NH 2 , SH, OH, or C0 2 H, or phenyl that is substituted with NH 2 , SH, OH or C0 2 H, wherein these functional groups can also serve as the point of covalent attachment to the nanoparticle. [00125] In some embodiments, small molecule targeting moieties that may be used to target cells associated with solid tumors such as prostate or breast cancer tumors include PSMA peptidase inhibitors such as 2-PMPA, GPI5232, VA-033, phenylalkylphosphonamidates and/or analogs and derivatives thereof. In some embodiments, small molecule targeting moieties that may be used to target cells associated with prostate cancer tumors include thiol and indole thiol derivatives, such as 2-MPPA and 3-(2-mercaptoethyl)-lH-indole-2-carboxylic acid derivatives. In some embodiments, small molecule targeting moieties that may be used to target cells associated with prostate cancer tumors include hydroxamate derivatives. In some embodiments, small molecule targeting moieties that may be used to target cells associated with prostate cancer tumors include PBDA- and urea-based inhibitors, such as ZJ 43, ZJ 11, ZJ 17, ZJ 38 and/or analogs and derivatives thereof, androgen receptor targeting agents (ART As), polyamines, such as putrescine, spermine, and spermidine, and inhibitors of the enzyme glutamate carboxylase II (GCPII), also known as NAAG Peptidase or NAALADase.

[00126] In another embodiment, the targeting moiety can be a ligand that targets Her2, EGFR, folate receptor, or toll receptors. In another embodiment, the targeting moiety is folate, folic acid, or an EGFR binding molecule.

[00127] For example, contemplated targeting moieties may include a nucleic acid, polypeptide, glycoprotein, carbohydrate, or lipid. For example, a targeting moiety can be a nucleic acid targeting moiety (e.g., an aptamer, e.g., the A10 aptamer) that binds to a cell type specific marker. In general, an aptamer is an oligonucleotide (e.g. , DNA, RNA, or an analog or derivative thereof) that binds to a particular target, such as a polypeptide. In some

embodiments, a targeting moiety may be a naturally occurring or synthetic ligand for a cell surface receptor, e.g. , a growth factor, hormone, LDL, transferrin, etc. A targeting moiety can be an antibody, which term is intended to include antibody fragments. Characteristic portions of antibodies, such as single chain targeting moieties, can be identified, e.g. , using procedures such as phage display.

[00128] Targeting moieties may be a targeting peptide or targeting peptidomimetic that has a length of up to about 50 residues. For example, a targeting moiety may include the amino acid sequence AKERC, CREKA, ARYLQKLN, or AXYLZZLN, wherein X and Z are variable amino acids, or conservative variants or peptidomimetics thereof. In particular embodiments, the targeting moiety is a peptide that includes the amino acid sequence AKERC, CREKA, ARYLQKLN, or AXYLZZLN, wherein X and Z are variable amino acids, and has a length of less than 20, 50 or 100 residues. The CREKA (Cys Arg Glu Lys Ala) peptide or a

peptidomimetic thereof or the octapeptide AXYLZZLN are also contemplated as targeting moieties, as well as peptides, or conservative variants or peptidomimetics thereof, that bind or form a complex with collagen IV, or that target tissue basement membrane (e.g. , the basement membrane of a blood vessel). Exemplary targeting moieties include peptides that target ICAM (intercellular adhesion molecule, e.g., ICAM-1).

[00129] Targeting moieties disclosed herein can be, in some embodiments, conjugated to a disclosed polymer or copolymer (e.g., PLA-PEG), and such a polymer conjugate may form part of a disclosed nanoparticle. In some embodiments, a therapeutic nanoparticle may include a polymer-drug conjugate. For example, a drug may be conjugated to a disclosed polymer or copolymer (e.g. , PLA-PEG), and such a polymer-drug conjugate may form part of a disclosed nanoparticle. For example, a disclosed therapeutic nanoparticle may optionally include about 0.2 to about 30 weight percent of a PLA-PEG or PLGA-PEG, wherein the PEG is

functionalized with a drug (e.g. , PLA-PEG-Drug).

[00130] A disclosed polymeric conjugate (e.g. , a polymer-ligand conjugate) may be formed using any suitable conjugation technique. For instance, two compounds such as a targeting moiety or drug and a biocompatible polymer (e.g., a biocompatible polymer and a poly(ethylene glycol)) may be conjugated together using techniques such as EDC-NHS chemistry (l-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide hydrochloride and N- hydroxysuccinimide) or a reaction involving a maleimide or a carboxylic acid, which can be conjugated to one end of a thiol, an amine, or a similarly functionalized polyether. The conjugation of a targeting moiety or drug and a polymer to form a polymer-targeting moiety conjugate or a polymer-drug conjugate can be performed in an organic solvent, such as, but not limited to, dichloromethane, acetonitrile, chloroform, dimethylformamide, tetrahydrofuran, acetone, or the like. Specific reaction conditions can be determined by those of ordinary skill in the art using no more than routine experimentation.

In another set of embodiments, a conjugation reaction may be performed by reacting a polymer that comprises a carboxylic acid functional group (e.g., a poly(ester-ether) compound) with a polymer or other moiety (such as a targeting moiety or drug) comprising an amine. For instance, a targeting moiety, such as a low-molecular weight ligand, or a drug, such as dasatinib, may be reacted with an amine to form an amine-containing moiety, which can then be conjugated to the carboxylic acid of the polymer. Such a reaction may occur as a single-step reaction, i.e. , the conjugation is performed without using intermediates such as N- hydroxysuccinimide or a maleimide. In some embodiments, a drug may be reacted with an amine-containing linker to form an amine-containing drug, which can then be conjugated to the carboxylic acid of the polymer as described above. The conjugation reaction between the amine-containing moiety and the carboxylic acid-terminated polymer (such as a poly(ester- ether) compound) may be achieved, in one set of embodiments, by adding the amine-containing moiety, solubilized in an organic solvent such as (but not limited to) dichloromethane, acetonitrile, chloroform, tetrahydrofuran, acetone, formamide, dimethylformamide, pyridines, dioxane, or dimethylsulfoxide, to a solution containing the carboxylic acid-terminated polymer. The carboxylic acid-terminated polymer may be contained within an organic solvent such as, but not limited to, dichloromethane, acetonitrile, chloroform, dimethylformamide,

tetrahydrofuran, or acetone. Reaction between the amine-containing moiety and the carboxylic acid-terminated polymer may occur spontaneously, in some cases. Unconjugated reactants may be washed away after such reactions, and the polymer may be precipitated in solvents such as, for instance, ethyl ether, hexane, methanol, or ethanol. In certain embodiments, a conjugate may be formed between an alcohol-containing moiety and carboxylic acid functional group of a polymer, which can be achieved similarly as described above for conjugates of amines and carboxylic acids.

Preparation of Nanoparticles

[00131] Another aspect of this disclosure is directed to systems and methods of making disclosed nanoparticles. In some embodiments, using two or more different polymers (e.g., copolymers, e.g. , block copolymers) in different ratios and producing particles from the polymers (e.g. , copolymers, e.g. , block copolymers), properties of the particles be controlled. For example, one polymer (e.g. , copolymer, e.g. , block copolymer) may include a low- molecular weight ligand, while another polymer (e.g. , copolymer, e.g., block copolymer) may be chosen for its biocompatibility and/or its ability to control immunogenicity of the resultant particle.

[00132] In some embodiments, a solvent used in a nanoparticle preparation process (e.g., a nanoprecipitation process or a nanoemulsion process as discussed below) may include a hydrophobic base, which may confer advantageous properties to the nanoparticles prepared using the process. As discussed above, in some cases, the hydrophobic base may improve drug loading of disclosed nanoparticles. Furthermore, in some instances, the controlled release properties of disclosed nanoparticles may be improved by the use of the hydrophobic base. In some cases, the hydrophobic base may be included in, for example, an organic solution or an aqueous solution used in the process. In one embodiment, the drug is combined with an organic solution and the hydrophobic base and optionally one or more polymers. The hydrophobic base concentration in a solution used to dissolve the drug is discussed above and may be, for example, between about 1 weight percent and about 30 weight percent, etc.

[00133] In one set of embodiments, the particles are formed by providing a solution comprising one or more polymers, and contacting the solution with a polymer nonsolvent to produce the particle. The solution may be miscible or immiscible with the polymer nonsolvent. For example, a water-miscible liquid such as acetonitrile may contain the polymers, and particles are formed as the acetonitrile is contacted with water, a polymer nonsolvent, e.g. , by pouring the acetonitrile into the water at a controlled rate. The polymer contained within the solution, upon contact with the polymer nonsolvent, may then precipitate to form particles such as nanoparticles. Two liquids are said to be "immiscible" or not miscible, with each other when one is not soluble in the other to a level of at least 10% by weight at ambient temperature and pressure. Typically, an organic solution (e.g., dichloromethane, acetonitrile, chloroform, tetrahydrofuran, acetone, formamide, dimethylformamide, pyridines, dioxane,

dimethylsulfoxide, etc.) and an aqueous liquid (e.g. , water, or water containing dissolved salts or other species, cell or biological media, ethanol, etc.) are immiscible with respect to each other. For example, the first solution may be poured into the second solution (at a suitable rate or speed). In some cases, particles such as nanoparticles may be formed as the first solution contacts the immiscible second liquid, e.g. , precipitation of the polymer upon contact causes the polymer to form nanoparticles while the first solution is poured into the second liquid, and in some cases, for example, when the rate of introduction is carefully controlled and kept at a relatively slow rate, nanoparticles may form. The control of such particle formation can be readily optimized by one of ordinary skill in the art using only routine experimentation.

[00134] Properties such as surface functionality, surface charge, size, zeta (ζ) potential, hydrophobicity, ability to control immunogenicity, and the like, may be highly controlled using a disclosed process. For instance, a library of particles may be synthesized, and screened to identify the particles having a particular ratio of polymers that allows the particles to have a specific density of moieties (e.g. , low-molecular weight ligands) present on the surface of the particle. This allows particles having one or more specific properties to be prepared, for example, a specific size and a specific surface density of moieties, without an undue degree of effort. Accordingly, certain embodiments are directed to screening techniques using such libraries, as well as any particles identified using such libraries. In addition, identification may occur by any suitable method. For instance, the identification may be direct or indirect, or proceed quantitatively or qualitatively.

[00135] In some embodiments, already -formed nanoparticles are functionalized with a targeting moiety using procedures analogous to those described for producing ligand- functionalized polymeric conjugates. For example, a first copolymer (PLGA-PEG, poly(lactide-co-glycolide) and poly(ethylene glycol)) is mixed with the acidic therapeutic agent to form particles. The particles are then associated with a low-molecular weight ligand to form nanoparticles that can be used for the treatment of cancer. The particles can be associated with varying amounts of low-molecular weight ligands in order to control the ligand surface density of the nanoparticle, thereby altering the therapeutic characteristics of the nanoparticle.

Furthermore, for example, by controlling parameters such as molecular weight, the molecular weight of PEG, and the nanoparticle surface charge, very precisely controlled particles may be obtained.

[00136] In another embodiment, a nanoemulsion process is provided, such as the process represented in FIGs. 1, 2A, and 2B. For example, an acidic therapeutic agent, a hydrophobic base, a first polymer (for example, a diblock co-polymer such as PLA-PEG or PLGA-PEG, either of which may be optionally bound to a ligand) and an optional second polymer (e.g., (PL(G)A-PEG or PLA), may be combined with an organic solution to form a first organic phase. Such first phase may include about 1 to about 50% weight solids, about 5 to about 50% weight solids, about 5 to about 40% weight solids, about 1 to about 15% weight solids, or about 10 to about 30% weight solids. The first organic phase may be combined with a first aqueous solution to form a second phase. The organic solution can include, for example, toluene, methyl ethyl ketone, acetonitrile, tetrahydrofuran, ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, isopropyl acetate, dimethylformamide, methylene chloride, dichloromethane, chloroform, acetone, benzyl alcohol, Tween 80, Span 80, or the like, and combinations thereof. In an embodiment, the organic phase may include benzyl alcohol, ethyl acetate, and combinations thereof. The second phase can be between about 0.1 and 50 weight %, between about 1 and 50 weight %, between about 5 and 40 weight %, or between about 1 and 15 weight %, solids. The aqueous solution can be water, optionally in combination with one or more of sodium cholate, ethyl acetate, polyvinyl acetate and benzyl alcohol. In some embodiments, the pH of the aqueous phase may be selected based on the pK a of the acidic therapeutic agent and/or the pK a of the hydrophobic base. For example, in certain embodiments, the acidic therapeutic agent may have a first pKa, the hydrophobic base, when protonated, may have a second pK a , and the aqueous phase may have a pH equal to a pK a unit between the first pK a and the second pK a . In a particular embodiment, the pH of the aqueous phase may be equal to a pK a unit that is about equidistant between the first pK a and the second pK a .

[00137] For example, the oil or organic phase may use a solvent that is only partially miscible with the nonsolvent (water). Therefore, when mixed at a low enough ratio and/or when using water pre-saturated with the organic solvents, the oil phase remains liquid. The oil phase may be emulsified into an aqueous solution and, as liquid droplets, sheared into nanoparticles using, for example, high energy dispersion systems, such as homogenizers or sonicators. The aqueous portion of the emulsion, otherwise known as the "water phase", may be surfactant solution consisting of sodium cholate and pre-saturated with ethyl acetate and benzyl alcohol. In other embodiments, both the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base may be dissolved in the organic phase.

[00138] Emulsifying the second phase to form an emulsion phase may be performed, for example, in one or two emulsification steps. For example, a primary emulsion may be prepared, and then emulsified to form a fine emulsion. The primary emulsion can be formed, for example, using simple mixing, a high pressure homogenizer, probe sonicator, stir bar, or a rotor stator homogenizer. The primary emulsion may be formed into a fine emulsion through the use of e.g., probe sonicator or a high pressure homogenizer, e.g. , by using 1, 2, 3, or more passes through a homogenizer. For example, when a high pressure homogenizer is used, the pressure used may be about 30 to about 60 psi, about 40 to about 50 psi, about 1000 to about 8000 psi, about 2000 to about 4000 psi, about 4000 to about 8000 psi, or about 4000 to about 5000 psi, e.g. , about 2000, 2500, 4000 or 5000 psi.

[00139] In some cases, fine emulsion conditions, which can be characterized by a very high surface to volume ratio of the droplets in the emulsion, can be chosen to maximize the solubility of the acidic therapeutic agent and hydrophobic base and form the desired HIP. In certain embodiments, under fine emulsion conditions, equilibration of dissolved components can occur very quickly, i.e. , faster than solidification of the nanoparticles. Thus, selecting a HIP based on, e.g. , the pKa difference between the acidic therapeutic agent and the hydrophobic base, or adjusting other parameters such as the pH of the fine emulsion and/or the pH of the quench solution, can have a significant impact on the drug loading and release properties of the nanoparticles by dictating, for example, the formation of a HIP in the nanoparticle as opposed to diffusion of the acidic therapeutic agent and/or hydrophobic base out of the nanoparticle.

[00140] In some embodiments, the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base may be combined in the second phase prior to emulsifying the second phase. In some instances, the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base may form a hydrophobic ion pair prior to emulsifying the second phase. In other embodiments, the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base may form a hydrophobic ion pair prior during emulsification of the second phase. For example, the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base may be combined in the second phase substantially concurrently with emulsifying the second phase, e.g. , the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base may be dissolved in separate solutions (e.g., two substantially immiscible solutions), which are then combined during emulsification. In another example, the acidic therapeutic agent and the substantially hydrophobic base may be dissolved in separate miscible solutions that are then fed into second phase during emulsification.

[00141] Either solvent evaporation or dilution may be needed to complete the extraction of the solvent and solidify the particles. For better control over the kinetics of extraction and a more scalable process, a solvent dilution via aqueous quench may be used. For example, the emulsion can be diluted into cold water to a concentration sufficient to dissolve all of the organic solvent to form a quenched phase. In some embodiments, quenching may be performed at least partially at a temperature of about 5 °C or less. For example, water used in the quenching may be at a temperature that is less that room temperature (e.g., about 0 to about 10°C, or about 0 to about 5 °C). In certain embodiments, the quench may be chosen having a pH that is advantageous for quenching the emulsion phase, e.g. , by improving the properties of the nanoparticles, such as the release profile, or improving a nanoparticle parameter, such as the drug loading. The pH of the quench may be adjusted by acid or base titration, for example, or by appropriate selection of a buffer. In some embodiments, the pH of the quench may be selected based on the pK a of the acidic therapeutic agent and/or the pK a of the protonated hydrophobic base. For example, in certain embodiments, the acidic therapeutic agent may have a first pK a , the hydrophobic base, when protonated, may have a second pK a , and the emulsion phase may be quenched with an aqueous solution having a pH equal to a pK a unit between the first pK a and the second pK a . In some embodiments, the resultant quenched phase may also have a pH equal to a pK a unit between the first pK a and the second pK a . In a particular embodiment, the pH may be equal to a pK a unit that is about equidistant between the first pK a and the second pK a .

[00142] In certain embodiments, HIP formation can occur during or after emulsification, e.g. , as a result of equilibrium conditions in the fine emulsion. Without wishing to be bound by any theory, it is believed that organic-soluble counter ions (i.e. , the hydrophobic base) can facilitate diffusion of a hydrophilic therapeutic agent into a nanoparticle of an emulsion as a result of HIP formation. Without wishing to be bound by any theory, the HIP may remain in the nanoparticle before solidification of the nanoparticle since the solubility of the HIP in the nanoparticle is higher than the solubility of the HIP in the aqueous phase of the emulsion and/or in the quench. For example, by selecting a pH for the quench that is between the pK a of the acidic therapeutic agent and the pK a of the hydrophobic base, formation of ionized acidic therapeutic agent and hydrophobic base can be optimized. However, selecting a pH that is too high may tend to cause the acidic therapeutic agent to diffuse out of the nanoparticle, whereas selecting a pH that is too low may tend to cause the hydrophobic base to diffuse out of the nanoparticle.

[00143] In some embodiments, the pH of an aqueous solution used in a nanoparticle formulation process (e.g., including, but not limited to, the aqueous phase, the emulsion phase, the quench, and the quenched phase) may be independently selected and may be between about 1 and about 3, in some embodiments between about 2 and about 4, in some embodiments between about 3 and about 5, in some embodiments between about 4 and about 6, in some embodiments between about 5 and about 7, in some embodiments between about 6 and about 8, in some embodiments between about 7 and about 9, and in some embodiments between about 8 and about 10. In certain embodiments, the pH of an aqueous solution used in a nanoparticle formulation process may be between about 3 and about 4, in some embodiments between about 4 and about 5, in some embodiments between about 5 and about 6, in some embodiments between about 6 and about 7, in some embodiments between about 7 and about 8, and in some embodiments between about 8 and about 9.

[00144] In some embodiments, not all of the acidic therapeutic agent is encapsulated in the particles at this stage, and a drug solubilizer is added to the quenched phase to form a solubilized phase. The drug solubilizer may be for example, Tween 80, Tween 20, polyvinyl pyrrolidone, cyclodextran, sodium dodecyl sulfate, sodium cholate, diethylnitrosamine, sodium acetate, urea, glycerin, propylene glycol, glycofurol, poly(ethylene)glycol,

bis(polyoxyethyleneglycol dodecyl) ether, sodium benzoate, sodium salicylate, or combinations thereof. For example, Tween-80 may be added to the quenched nanoparticle suspension to solubilize the free drug and prevent the formation of drug crystals. In some embodiments, a ratio of drug solubilizer to the acidic therapeutic agent is about 200: 1 to about 10: 1, or in some embodiments about 100: 1 to about 10: 1.

[00145] The solubilized phase may be filtered to recover the nanoparticles. For example, ultrafiltration membranes may be used to concentrate the nanoparticle suspension and substantially eliminate organic solvent, free drug (i.e., unencapsulated therapeutic agent), drug solubilizer, and other processing aids (surfactants). Exemplary filtration may be performed using a tangential flow filtration system. For example, by using a membrane with a pore size suitable to retain nanoparticles while allowing solutes, micelles, and organic solvent to pass, nanoparticles can be selectively separated. Exemplary membranes with molecular weight cut- offs of about 300-500 kDa (-5-25 nm) may be used.

[00146] Diafiltration may be performed using a constant volume approach, meaning the diafiltrate (cold deionized water, e.g. , about 0 to about 5 °C, or 0 to about 10 °C) may added to the feed suspension at the same rate as the filtrate is removed from the suspension. In some embodiments, filtering may include a first filtering using a first temperature of about 0 to about 5 °C, or 0 to about 10 °C, and a second temperature of about 20 to about 30 °C, or 15 to about 35 °C. In some embodiments, filtering may include processing about 1 to about 30, in some cases about 1 to about 15, or in some cases 1 to about 6 diavolumes. For example, filtering may include processing about 1 to about 30, or in some cases about 1 to about 6 diavolumes, at about 0 to about 5 °C, and processing at least one diavolume (e.g., about 1 to about 15, about 1 to about 3, or about 1 to about 2 diavolumes) at about 20 to about 30 °C. In some embodiments, filtering comprises processing different diavolumes at different distinct temperatures.

[00147] After purifying and concentrating the nanoparticle suspension, the particles may be passed through one, two or more sterilizing and/or depth filters, for example, using -0.2 μιτι depth pre-filter. For example, a sterile filtration step may involve filtering the therapeutic nanoparticles using a filtration train at a controlled rate. In some embodiments, the filtration train may include a depth filter and a sterile filter.. [00148] In another embodiment of preparing nanoparticles, an organic phase is formed composed of a mixture of an acidic therapeutic agent, and polymer (homopolymer, co-polymer, and co-polymer with ligand). The organic phase is mixed with an aqueous phase at approximately a 1 :5 ratio (oil phase: aqueous phase) where the aqueous phase is composed of a surfactant and some dissolved solvent. The primary emulsion is formed by the combination of the two phases under simple mixing or through the use of a rotor stator homogenizer. The primary emulsion is then formed into a fine emulsion through the use of a high pressure homogenizer. The fine emulsion is then quenched by addition to deionized water under mixing. In some embodiments, the quench: emulsion ratio may be about 2: 1 to about 40: 1, or in some embodiments about 5: 1 to about 15: 1. In some embodiments, the quench: emulsion ratio is approximately 8.5: 1. Then a solution of Tween (e.g., Tween 80) is added to the quench to achieve approximately 2% Tween overall. This serves to dissolve free, unencapsulated therapeutic agent. The nanoparticles are then isolated through either centrifugation or ultrafiltration/diafiltration.

[00149] It will be appreciated that the amounts of polymer, acidic therapeutic agent, and hydrophobic base that are used in the preparation of the formulation may differ from a final formulation. For example, some of the therapeutic agent may not become completely incorporated in a nanoparticle and such free therapeutic agent may be e.g., filtered away. For example, in an embodiment, a first organic solution containing about 11 weight percent theoretical loading of therapeutic agent in a first organic solution containing about 9% of a first hydrophobic base, a second organic solution containing about 89 weight percent polymer (e.g., the polymer may include about 2.5 mol percent of a targeting moiety conjugated to a polymer and about 97.5 mol percent PLA-PEG), and an aqueous solution containing about 0.12% of a second hydrophobic base may be used in the preparation of a formulation that results in, e.g., a final nanoparticle comprising about 2 weight percent therapeutic agent, about 97.5 weight percent polymer (where the polymer may include about 1.25 mol percent of a targeting moiety conjugated to a polymer and about 98.75 mol percent PLA-PEG), and about 0.5% total hydrophobic base. Such processes may provide final nanoparticles suitable for administration to a patient that includes about 1 to about 20 percent by weight therapeutic agent, e.g., about 1, about 2, about 3, about 4, about 5, about 8, about 10, or about 15 percent acidic therapeutic agent by weight. Therapeutic Agents

[00150] The acidic therapeutic agent may include alternative forms such as

pharmaceutically acceptable salt forms, free base forms, hydrates, isomers, and prodrugs thereof. In some embodiments, the acidic therapeutic agent may be selected from a list of known agents, for example, a list of agents previously synthesized; a list of agents previously administered to a subject, for example, a human subject or a mammalian subject; a list of FDA approved agents; or a historical list of agents, for example, a historical list of a pharmaceutical company, etc. Suitable lists of known agents are well known to those of ordinary skill in the art and include, but are not limited to, the Merck Index and the FDA Orange Book, each of which is incorporated herein by reference. In some instances, combinations of two or more acidic therapeutic agents (e.g., two, three, or more acidic therapeutic agents) may be used in a disclosed nanoparticle formulation.

[00151] In a particular embodiment, an acidic therapeutic agent or drug, e.g., diclofenac, ketorolac, or the like, may be released in a controlled release manner from the particle and allowed to interact locally with the particular patient site (e.g., a tumor). The term "controlled release" is generally meant to encompass release of a substance (e.g., a drug) at a selected site or otherwise controllable in rate, interval, and/or amount. Controlled release encompasses, but is not necessarily limited to, substantially continuous delivery, patterned delivery (e.g., intermittent delivery over a period of time that is interrupted by regular or irregular time intervals), and delivery of a bolus of a selected substance (e.g., as a predetermined, discrete amount if a substance over a relatively short period of time (e.g., a few seconds or minutes)).

[00152] The active agent or drug may be an NSAID or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof. For example, the NSAID may be an acetic acid derivative, a propionic acid derivative, a salicylate, a selective COX-2 inhibitor, a sulphonanilides, a fenamic acid derivative, or an enolic acid derivative. Non-limiting examples of NSAIDs include diclofenac, ketorolac, aspirin, diflunisal, salsalate, ibuprofen, naproxen, fenoprofen, ketoprofen, flurbiprofen, oxaprozin, loxoprofen, indomethacin, sulindac, etodolac, ketorolac, diclofenac, nabumetone, piroxicam, meloxicam, tenoxicam, droxicam, lornoxicam, isoxicam, mefenamic acid, meclofenamic acid, flufenamic acid, tolfenamic acid, celecoxib, rofecoxib, valdecoxib, parecoxib, lumiracoxib, etoricoxib, firocoxib, nimesulide, and licofelone.

[00153] In one set of embodiments, the payload is a drug or a combination of more than one drug. Such particles may be useful, for example, in embodiments where a targeting moiety may be used to direct a particle containing a drug to a particular localized location within a subject, e.g., to allow localized delivery of the drug to occur.

Pharmaceutical Formulations

[00154] Nanoparticles disclosed herein may be combined with pharmaceutically acceptable carriers to form a pharmaceutical composition. As would be appreciated by one of skill in this art, the carriers may be chosen based on the route of administration as described below, the location of the target issue, the drug being delivered, the time course of delivery of the drug, etc.

[00155] The pharmaceutical compositions can be administered to a patient by any means known in the art including oral and parenteral routes. The term "patient," as used herein, refers to humans as well as non-humans, including, for example, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. For instance, the non-humans may be mammals (e.g. , a rodent, a mouse, a rat, a rabbit, a monkey, a dog, a cat, a primate, or a pig). In certain embodiments parenteral routes are desirable since they avoid contact with the digestive enzymes that are found in the alimentary canal. According to such embodiments, inventive compositions may be

administered by injection (e.g. , intravenous, subcutaneous or intramuscular, intraperitoneal injection), rectally, vaginally, topically (as by powders, creams, ointments, or drops), or by inhalation (as by sprays).

[00156] In a particular embodiment, the nanoparticles are administered to a subject in need thereof systemically, e.g., by IV infusion or injection.

[00157] Injectable preparations, for example, sterile injectable aqueous or oleaginous suspensions may be formulated according to the known art using suitable dispersing or wetting agents and suspending agents. The sterile injectable preparation may also be a sterile injectable solution, suspension, or emulsion in a nontoxic parenterally acceptable diluent or solvent, for example, as a solution in 1,3-butanediol. Among the acceptable vehicles and solvents that may be employed are water, Ringer's solution, U.S. P., and isotonic sodium chloride solution. In addition, sterile, fixed oils are conventionally employed as a solvent or suspending medium. For this purpose any bland fixed oil can be employed including synthetic mono- or diglycerides. In addition, fatty acids such as oleic acid are used in the preparation of injectables. In one embodiment, the inventive conjugate is suspended in a carrier fluid comprising 1 % (w/v) sodium carboxy methyl cellulose and 0.1% (v/v) TWEEN™ 80. The injectable formulations can be sterilized, for example, by filtration through a bacteria-retaining filter, or by

incorporating sterilizing agents in the form of sterile solid compositions which can be dissolved or dispersed in sterile water or other sterile injectable medium prior to use.

[00158] Solid dosage forms for oral administration include capsules, tablets, pills, powders, and granules. In such solid dosage forms, the encapsulated or unencapsulated conjugate is mixed with at least one inert, pharmaceutically acceptable excipient or carrier such as sodium citrate or dicalcium phosphate and/or (a) fillers or extenders such as starches, lactose, sucrose, glucose, mannitol, and silicic acid, (b) binders such as, for example,

carboxymethylcellulose, alginates, gelatin, polyvinylpyrrolidinone, sucrose, and acacia, (c) humectants such as glycerol, (d) disintegrating agents such as agar-agar, calcium carbonate, potato or tapioca starch, alginic acid, certain silicates, and sodium carbonate, (e) solution retarding agents such as paraffin, (f) absorption accelerators such as quaternary ammonium compounds, (g) wetting agents such as, for example, cetyl alcohol and glycerol monostearate, (h) absorbents such as kaolin and bentonite clay, and (i) lubricants such as talc, calcium stearate, magnesium stearate, solid polyethylene glycols, sodium lauryl sulfate, and mixtures thereof. In the case of capsules, tablets, and pills, the dosage form may also comprise buffering agents.

[00159] It will be appreciated that the exact dosage of a nanoparticle containing an acidic therapeutic agent is chosen by the individual physician in view of the patient to be treated, in general, dosage and administration are adjusted to provide an effective amount of the acidic therapeutic agent nanoparticle to the patient being treated. As used herein, the "effective amount" of a nanoparticle containing an acidic therapeutic agent refers to the amount necessary to elicit the desired biological response. As will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in this art, the effective amount of a nanoparticle containing an acidic therapeutic agent may vary depending on such factors as the desired biological endpoint, the drug to be delivered, the target tissue, the route of administration, etc. For example, the effective amount of a

nanoparticle containing an acidic therapeutic agent might be the amount that results in a reduction in tumor size by a desired amount over a desired period of time. Additional factors which may be taken into account include the severity of the disease state; age, weight and gender of the patient being treated; diet, time and frequency of administration; drug

combinations; reaction sensitivities; and tolerance/response to therapy.

[00160] Disclosed nanoparticles may be formulated in dosage unit form for ease of administration and uniformity of dosage. The expression "dosage unit form" as used herein refers to a physically discrete unit of nanoparticle appropriate for the patient to be treated. It will be understood, however, that the total daily usage of the compositions will be decided by the attending physician within the scope of sound medical judgment. For any nanoparticle, the therapeutically effective dose can be estimated initially either in cell culture assays or in animal models, usually mice, rabbits, dogs, or pigs. The animal model is also used to achieve a desirable concentration range and route of administration. Such information can then be used to determine useful doses and routes for administration in humans. Therapeutic efficacy and toxicity of nanoparticles can be determined by standard pharmaceutical procedures in cell cultures or experimental animals, e.g. , ED 50 (the dose is therapeutically effective in 50% of the population) and LD50 (the dose is lethal to 50% of the population). The dose ratio of toxic to therapeutic effects is the therapeutic index, and it can be expressed as the ratio, LD5 0 /ED5 0 . Pharmaceutical compositions which exhibit large therapeutic indices may be useful in some embodiments. The data obtained from cell culture assays and animal studies can be used in formulating a range of dosage for human use.

[00161] In an embodiment, compositions disclosed herein may include less than about

10 ppm of palladium, or less than about 8 ppm, or less than about 6 ppm of palladium. For example, provided here is a composition that includes nanoparticles having a polymeric conjugate wherein the composition has less than about 10 ppm of palladium.

[00162] In some embodiments, a composition suitable for freezing is contemplated, including nanoparticles disclosed herein and a solution suitable for freezing, e.g., a sugar such as a mono, di, or poly saccharide, e.g. , sucrose and/or a trehalose, and/or a salt and/or a cyclodextrin solution is added to the nanoparticle suspension. The sugar (e.g., sucrose or trehalose) may act, e.g., as a cryoprotectant to prevent the particles from aggregating upon freezing. For example, provided herein is a nanoparticle formulation comprising a plurality of disclosed nanoparticles, sucrose, an ionic halide, and water; wherein the

nanoparticles/sucrose/water/ionic halide is about 3-40%/10-40%/20-95%/0.1-10% (w/w/w/w) or about 5-10%/10-15%/80-90%/l-10% (w/w/w/w). For example, such solution may include nanoparticles as disclosed herein, about 5% to about 20% by weight sucrose and an ionic halide such as sodium chloride, in a concentration of about 10- 100 mM. In another example, provided herein is a nanoparticle formulation comprising a plurality of disclosed nanoparticles, trehalose, cyclodextrin, and water; wherein the nanoparticles/trehalose/water/cyclodextrin is about 3-40%/l-25%/20-95%/l-25% (w/w/w/w) or about 5-10%/l-25%/80-90%/10-15%

(w/w/w/w).

[00163] For example, a contemplated solution may include nanoparticles as disclosed herein, about 1% to about 25% by weight of a disaccharide such as trehalose or sucrose (e.g. , about 5% to about 25% trehalose or sucrose, e.g. about 10% trehalose or sucrose, or about 15% trehalose or sucrose, e.g. about 5% sucrose) by weight) and a cyclodextrin such as β- cyclodextrin, in a concentration of about 1% to about 25% by weight (e.g. about 5% to about 20%, e.g. 10% or about 20% by weight, or about 15% to about 20% by weight cyclodextrin). Contemplated formulations may include a plurality of disclosed nanoparticles (e.g.

nanoparticles having PLA-PEG and an active agent), and about 2% to about 15 wt% (or about 4% to about 6wt%, e.g. about 5wt%) sucrose and about 5wt% to about 20% (e.g. about 7% wt percent to about 12 wt%, e.g. about 10 wt%) of a cyclodextrin, e.g. , HPbCD).

[00164] The present disclosure relates in part to lyophilized pharmaceutical

compositions that, when reconstituted, have a minimal amount of large aggregates. Such large aggregates may have a size greater than about 0.5 μιτι, greater than about 1 μιτι, or greater than about 10 μηι, and can be undesirable in a reconstituted solution. Aggregate sizes can be measured using a variety of techniques including those indicated in the U.S. Pharmacopeia at 32 <788>, hereby incorporated by reference. The tests outlined in USP 32 <788> include a light obscuration particle count test, microscopic particle count test, laser diffraction, and single particle optical sensing. In one embodiment, the particle size in a given sample is measured using laser diffraction and/or single particle optical sensing.

[00165] The USP 32 <788> by light obscuration particle count test sets forth guidelines for sampling particle sizes in a suspension. For solutions with less than or equal to 100 mL, the preparation complies with the test if the average number of particles present does not exceed 6000 per container that are >10 μιη and 600 per container that are >25 μτη.

[00166] As outlined in USP 32 <788>, the microscopic particle count test sets forth guidelines for determining particle amounts using a binocular microscope adjusted to 100 ± 1 Ox magnification having an ocular micrometer. An ocular micrometer is a circular diameter graticule that consists of a circle divided into quadrants with black reference circles denoting 10 μιτι and 25 μιτι when viewed at lOOx magnification. A linear scale is provided below the graticule. The number of particles with reference to 10 μιτι and 25 μιτι are visually tallied. For solutions with less than or equal to 100 mL, the preparation complies with the test if the average number of particles present does not exceed 3000 per container that are >10 μιη and 300 per container that are >25 μηι.

[00167] In some embodiments, a 10 mL aqueous sample of a disclosed composition upon reconstitution comprises less than 600 particles per ml having a size greater than or equal to 10 microns; and/or less than 60 particles per ml having a size greater than or equal to 25 microns.

[00168] Dynamic light scattering (DLS) may be used to measure particle size, but it relies on Brownian motion so the technique may not detect some larger particles. Laser diffraction relies on differences in the index of refraction between the particle and the suspension media. The technique is capable of detecting particles at the sub-micron to millimeter range. Relatively small (e.g., about 1-5 weight %) amounts of larger particles can be determined in nanoparticle suspensions. Single particle optical sensing (SPOS) uses light obscuration of dilute suspensions to count individual particles of about 0.5 μηι. By knowing the particle concentration of the measured sample, the weight percentage of aggregates or the aggregate concentration (parti cles/mL) can be calculated.

[00169] Formation of aggregates can occur during lyophilization due to the dehydration of the surface of the particles. This dehydration can be avoided by using lyoprotectants, such as disaccharides, in the suspension before lyophilization. Suitable disaccharides include sucrose, lactulose, lactose, maltose, trehalose, or cellobiose, and/or mixtures thereof. Other contemplated disaccharides include kojibiose, nigerose, isomaltose, β,β-trehalose, α,β- trehalose, sophorose, laminaribiose, gentiobiose, turanose, maltulose, palatinose, gentiobiulose, mannobiase, melibiose, melibiulose, rutinose, rutinulose, and xylobiose. Reconstitution shows equivalent DLS size distributions when compared to the starting suspension. However, laser diffraction can detect particles of >10 μιη in size in some reconstituted solutions. Further, SPOS also may detect >10 μιη sized particles at a concentration above that of the FDA guidelines (10 4 -10 5 particles/mL for >10 μιη particles).

[00170] In some embodiments, one or more ionic halide salts may be used as an additional lyoprotectant to a sugar, such as sucrose, trehalose or mixtures thereof. Sugars may include disaccharides, monosaccharides, trisaccharides, and/or polysaccharides, and may include other excipients, e.g. glycerol and/or surfactants. Optionally, a cyclodextrin may be included as an additional lyoprotectant. The cyclodextrin may be added in place of the ionic halide salt. Alternatively, the cyclodextrin may be added in addition to the ionic halide salt. [00171] Suitable ionic halide salts may include sodium chloride, calcium chloride, zinc chloride, or mixtures thereof. Additional suitable ionic halide salts include potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, ammonium chloride, sodium bromide, calcium bromide, zinc bromide, potassium bromide, magnesium bromide, ammonium bromide, sodium iodide, calcium iodide, zinc iodide, potassium iodide, magnesium iodide, or ammonium iodide, and/or mixtures thereof. In one embodiment, about 1 to about 15 weight percent sucrose may be used with an ionic halide salt. In one embodiment, the lyophilized pharmaceutical composition may comprise about 10 to about 100 mM sodium chloride. In another embodiment, the lyophilized pharmaceutical composition may comprise about 100 to about 500 mM of divalent ionic chloride salt, such as calcium chloride or zinc chloride. In yet another embodiment, the suspension to be lyophilized may further comprise a cyclodextrin, for example, about 1 to about 25 weight percent of cyclodextrin may be used.

[00172] A suitable cyclodextrin may include a-cyclodextrin, β-cyclodextrin, γ- cyclodextrin, or mixtures thereof. Exemplary cyclodextrins contemplated for use in the compositions disclosed herein include hydroxypropyl-P-cyclodextrin (HPbCD), hydroxyethyl- β-cyclodextrin, sulfobutylether-P-cyclodextrin, methyl-P-cyclodextrin, dimethyl-β- cyclodextrin, carboxymethyl-P-cyclodextrin, carboxymethyl ethyl-P-cyclodextrin, diethyl-β- cyclodextrin, tri-O-alkyl-P-cyclodextrin, glucosyl-P-cyclodextrin, and maltosyl-P-cyclodextrin. In one embodiment, about 1 to about 25 weight percent trehalose (e.g. about 10% to about 15%, e.g. 5 to about 20% by weight) may be used with cyclodextrin. In one embodiment, the lyophilized pharmaceutical composition may comprise about 1 to about 25 weight percent β- cyclodextrin. An exemplary composition may comprise nanoparticles comprising PLA-PEG, an active/therapeutic agent, about 4% to about 6% (e.g. about 5% wt percent) sucrose, and about 8 to about 12 weight percent (e.g. about 10 wt. %) HPbCD.

[00173] In one aspect, a lyophilized pharmaceutical composition is provided comprising disclosed nanoparticles, wherein upon reconstitution of the lyophilized pharmaceutical composition at a nanoparticle concentration of about 50 mg/mL, in less than or about 100 mL of an aqueous medium, the reconstituted composition suitable for parenteral administration comprises less than 6000, such as less than 3000, microparticles of greater than or equal to 10 microns; and/or less than 600, such as less than 300, microparticles of greater than or equal to 25 microns. [00174] The number of microparticles can be determined by means such as the USP 32 <788> by light obscuration particle count test, the USP 32 <788> by microscopic particle count test, laser diffraction, and single particle optical sensing.

[00175] In an aspect, a pharmaceutical composition suitable for parenteral use upon reconstitution is provided comprising a plurality of therapeutic particles each comprising a copolymer having a hydrophobic polymer segment and a hydrophilic polymer segment; an active agent; a sugar; and a cyclodextrin.

[00176] For example, the copolymer may be poly(lactic) acid-Woc -poly(ethylene)glycol copolymer. Upon reconstitution, a 100 mL aqueous sample may comprise less than 6000 particles having a size greater than or equal to 10 microns; and less than 600 particles having a size greater than or equal to 25 microns.

[00177] The step of adding a disaccharide and an ionic halide salt may comprise adding about 5 to about 15 weight percent sucrose or about 5 to about 20 weight percent trehalose (e.g. , about 10 to about 20 weight percent trehalose), and about 10 to about 500 mM ionic halide salt. The ionic halide salt may be selected from sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and zinc chloride, or mixtures thereof. In an embodiment, about 1 to about 25 weight percent cyclodextrin is also added.

[00178] In another embodiment, the step of adding a disaccharide and a cyclodextrin may comprise adding about 5 to about 15 weight percent sucrose or about 5 to about 20 weight percent trehalose (e.g. , about 10 to about 20 weight percent trehalose), and about 1 to about 25 weight percent cyclodextrin. In an embodiment, about 10 to about 15 weight percent cyclodextrin is added. The cyclodextrin may be selected from a-cyclodextrin, β-cyclodextrin, γ-cyclodextrin, or mixtures thereof.

[00179] In another aspect, a method of preventing substantial aggregation of particles in a pharmaceutical nanoparticle composition is provided comprising adding a sugar and a salt to the lyophilized formulation to prevent aggregation of the nanoparticles upon reconstitution. In an embodiment, a cyclodextrin is also added to the lyophilized formulation. In yet another aspect, a method of preventing substantial aggregation of particles in a pharmaceutical nanoparticle composition is provided comprising adding a sugar and a cyclodextrin to the lyophilized formulation to prevent aggregation of the nanoparticles upon reconstitution.

[00180] A contemplated lyophilized composition may have a therapeutic particle concentration of greater than about 40 mg/mL. The formulation suitable for parenteral administration may have less than about 600 particles having a size greater than 10 microns in a 10 mL dose. Lyophilizing may comprise freezing the composition at a temperature of greater than about -40 °C, or e.g. less than about -30 °C, forming a frozen composition; and drying the frozen composition to form the lyophilized composition. The step of drying may occur at about 50 mTorr at a temperature of about -25 to about -34 °C, or about -30 to about -34 °C.

Methods of Treatment

[00181] In some embodiments, therapeutic particles disclosed herein may be used to treat, alleviate, ameliorate, relieve, delay onset of, inhibit progression of, reduce severity of, and/or reduce incidence of one or more symptoms or features of a disease, disorder, and/or condition. For example, the disclosed therapeutic particles may be used to treat acute and/or chronic conditions where pain and inflammation are present. In some instances, the disclosed therapeutic particles may be used as preventative therapies for preventing diseases such as cancer (e.g., colorectal cancer), cardiovascular disease, and any disease where acute or chronic inflammation may be risk factor for acquiring the disease. In certain embodiments, the disclosed therapeutic particles may be used to treat cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthropathies (e.g. ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and Reiter's syndrome), acute gout, dysmenorrhoea (i.e., menstrual pain), metastatic bone pain, headaches and migraines, postoperative pain, mild-to-moderate pain due to inflammation and tissue injury, pyrexia (i.e., fever), ileus, and renal colic.

[00182] In other examples, disclosed therapeutic particles that include an NSAID, e.g., diclofenac, ketorolac, or the like, may be used to treat cancers such as breast, prostate, colon, glioblastoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, osteosarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, or lung cancer such as non-small cell lung cancer in a patient in need thereof. Disclosed methods for the treatment of cancer (e.g. breast or prostate cancer) may comprise administering a therapeutically effective amount of the disclosed therapeutic particles to a subject in need thereof, in such amounts and for such time as is necessary to achieve the desired result. In certain embodiments of the present invention a "therapeutically effective amount" is that amount effective for treating, alleviating, ameliorating, relieving, delaying onset of, inhibiting progression of, reducing severity of, and/or reducing incidence of one or more symptoms or features of e.g. a cancer being treated. [00183] Also provided herein are therapeutic protocols that include administering a therapeutically effective amount of an disclosed therapeutic particle to a healthy individual (i.e., a subject who does not display any symptoms of cancer and/or who has not been diagnosed with cancer). For example, healthy individuals may be "immunized" with an inventive targeted particle prior to development of cancer and/or onset of symptoms of cancer; at risk individuals (e.g., patients who have a family history of cancer; patients carrying one or more genetic mutations associated with development of cancer; patients having a genetic polymorphism associated with development of cancer; patients infected by a virus associated with

development of cancer; patients with habits and/or lifestyles associated with development of cancer; etc.) can be treated substantially contemporaneously with (e.g., within 48 hours, within 24 hours, or within 12 hours of) the onset of symptoms of cancer. Of course individuals known to have cancer may receive inventive treatment at any time.

[00184] In other embodiments, disclosed nanoparticles may be used to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, e.g., breast cancer cells. As used herein, the term "inhibits growth of cancer cells" or "inhibiting growth of cancer cells" refers to any slowing of the rate of cancer cell proliferation and/or migration, arrest of cancer cell proliferation and/or migration, or killing of cancer cells, such that the rate of cancer cell growth is reduced in comparison with the observed or predicted rate of growth of an untreated control cancer cell. The term "inhibits growth" can also refer to a reduction in size or disappearance of a cancer cell or tumor, as well as to a reduction in its metastatic potential. Preferably, such an inhibition at the cellular level may reduce the size, deter the growth, reduce the aggressiveness, or prevent or inhibit metastasis of a cancer in a patient. Those skilled in the art can readily determine, by any of a variety of suitable indicia, whether cancer cell growth is inhibited.

[00185] Inhibition of cancer cell growth may be evidenced, for example, by arrest of cancer cells in a particular phase of the cell cycle, e.g., arrest at the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. Inhibition of cancer cell growth can also be evidenced by direct or indirect measurement of cancer cell or tumor size. In human cancer patients, such measurements generally are made using well known imaging methods such as magnetic resonance imaging, computerized axial tomography and X-rays. Cancer cell growth can also be determined indirectly, such as by determining the levels of circulating carcinoembryonic antigen, prostate specific antigen or other cancer-specific antigens that are correlated with cancer cell growth. Inhibition of cancer growth is also generally correlated with prolonged survival and/or increased health and well- being of the subject.

[00186] Other methods contemplated herein include methods of treating

neurodegenerative ailments such as Alzheimer's disease in a patient in need thereof that include administering a disclosed nanoparticle, e.g. a disclosed nanoparticle having diclofenac, ketorolac, or the like.

[00187] Also provided herein are methods of administering to a patient a nanoparticle disclosed herein including an active agent, wherein, upon administration to a patient, such nanoparticles substantially reduces the volume of distribution and/or substantially reduces free Cm a x, as compared to administration of the agent alone (i.e. , not as a disclosed nanoparticle).

[00188] U.S. Patent No. 8,206,747, issued June 26, 2012, entitled "Drug Loaded Polymeric Nanoparticles and Methods of Making and Using Same" is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

EXAMPLES

[00189] The invention now being generally described, it will be more readily understood by reference to the following examples which are included merely for purposes of illustration of certain aspects and embodiments, and are not intended to limit the invention in any way.

Example 1 Preparation of PLA-PEG

[00190] The synthesis is accomplished by ring opening polymerization of d,l-lactide with a-hydroxy-ro-methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) as the macro-initiator, and performed at an elevated temperature using Tin (II) 2-Ethyl hexanoate as a catalyst, as shown below (PEG Mn « 5,000 Da; PLA Mn « 16,000 Da; PEG-PLA M n « 21,000 Da).

[00191] The polymer is purified by dissolving the polymer in dichloromethane, and precipitating it in a mixture of hexane and diethyl ether. The polymer recovered from this step is dried in an oven. Example 3 Diclofenac Nanoparticle Preparation

[00192] Table 1. Formulation of diclofenac using different molecular weight PLA/PEG copolymers and homopolymer PLA doping.

[00193] Figure 3 shows in vitro release of diclofenac from the nanoparticles in Table 1. Release of diclofenac was complete within approximately 1-2 hours. Example 2 Diclofenac Amine Nanoparticle Preparation

[00194] Diclofenac nanoparticles containing an amine were produced using the following:

25% (w/w) theoretical drug

90% (w/w) Polymer-PEG, 16-5 PLA-PEG, 30-5 PLA-PEG, or 50-5 PLA-PEG % Total Solids = 10%

Solvents: 21% benzyl alcohol, 79% ethyl acetate (w/w)

Diclofenac: Amine = 1 : 1 equimolar, or Diclofenac:Amine = 1 :0.5 molar

[00195] For a 1 gram batch size, 250 mg of drug plus appropriate amounts of amine based on either 1 : 1 or 1 :0.5 molar ratio were added to a first vial. To a second vial was added 750 mg of Polymer-PEG: 16-5, 30-5, or 50-5 PLA-PEG.

[00196] To prepare the organic phase, 4.5 g of a 21 :79 weight ratio of benzyl alcohol to ethyl acetate were each added to the first vial and the second vial. The mixtures were vortexed until the drug and amine were dissolved and the polymers were dissolved. The drug/amine solution and the polymer solution were then combined and vortexed for a few minutes.

[00197] An aqueous solution for a 16-5 PLA-PEG formulation, a 30-5 PLA-PEG formulation, or a 50-5 PLA-PEG formulation was prepared. The 16-5 PLA-PEG formulation contained 0.0025% Sodium Cholate, 2% Benzyl Alcohol, and 4% Ethyl acetate in water. The 30-5 PLA-PEG formulation contained 0.125% Sodium Cholate, 2% Benzyl Alcohol, and 4% Ethyl acetate in water. The 50-5 PLA-PEG formulation contained 0.25% Sodium Cholate, 2% Benzyl Alcohol, and 4% Ethyl acetate in water.

[00198] An emulsion was formed by combining the organic phase into the aqueous solution at a ratio of 5: 1 (aqueous phase: oil phase). The organic phase was poured into the aqueous solution and homogenized using a hand homogenizer for 10 seconds at room temperature to form a coarse emulsion. The solution was subsequently fed through a high pressure homogenizer (110S). For the 16-5 PLA-PEG formulation, the pressure was set to 25 psi on gauge for one discreet pass to form the nanoemulsion. For the 30-5 PLA-PEG formulation, the pressure was set to 25 psi on gauge for two discreet passes to form the nanoemulsion. For the 50-5 PLA-PEG formulation, the pressure was set to 45 psi on gauge for two discreet passes to form the nanoemulsion.

[00199] The emulsion was quenched into cold DI water at < 5°C while stirring on a stir plate. The ratio of Quench to Emulsion was 8: 1. 35% (w/w) Tween 80 in water was then added to the quenched emulsion at a ratio of 100: 1 (Tween 80:drug).

[00200] The nanoparticles were concentrated through tangential flow filtration (TFF) followed by diafiltration to remove solvents, unencapsulated drug and solubilizer. A quenched emulsion was initially concentrated through TFF using a 300 KDa Pall cassette (2 membrane) to an approximately 100 mL volume. This was followed by diafiltration using approximately 20 diavolumes (2 L) of cold DI water. The volume was minimized by adding 100 mL of cold water to the vessel and pumping through the membrane for rinsing. Approximately 100-180 mL of material were collected in a glass vial and further concentrated using a smaller TFF to a final volume of 10-20 mL.

[00201] To a tared 20 mL scintillation vial was added a volume of final slurry, which was then dried under vaccum on a lyophilizer with heating. The weight of nanoparticles in the volume of dried slurry was then determined. Concentrated sucrose (0.666g/g) was added to the final slurry sample to attain a 10% solution of sucrose.

[00202] The solids concentration of a 0.45μιη filtered final slurry was determined by filtering a portion of the final slurry sample before addition of sucrose through a 0.45μιη syringe filter. To a tared 20 mL scintillation vial was added a volume of filtered sample, which was then dried under vacuum on a lyophilizer with heating.

[00203] The remaining sample of unfiltered final slurry was frozen with sucrose. [00204] Table 2. Amines screened for diclofenac formulations.

Example 3 Particle Size and Drug Load Analysis of Diclofenac Amine Nanoparticles

[00205] Particle size was analyzed by two techniques— dynamic light scattering (DLS) and laser diffraction. DLS was performed using a Brookhaven ZetaPals instrument at 25°C in dilute aqueous suspension using a 660 nm laser scattered at 90° and analyzed using the Cumulants and N LS methods. Laser diffraction was performed with a Horiba LS950 instrument in dilute aqueous suspension using both a HeNe laser at 633 nm and an LED at 405 nm, scattered at 90° and analyzed using the Mie optical model. The output from the DLS was associated with the hydrodynamic radius of the particles, which includes the PEG "corona", while the laser diffraction instrument is more closely associated with the geometric size of the PLA particle "core".

[00206] Tables 3, 4, and 5 give the particle size and drug load of the particles described above. [00207] Table 3. Formulations prepared using 16/5 PLA/PEG, diclofenac, and amines.

*: Parentheses show diclofenac and amine molar ratio used

[00208] Table 4. Formulations prepared using 30/5 PLA/PEG, diclofenac, and dodecylamines.

[00209] Table 5. Formulations prepared using 50/5 PLA/PEG, diclofenac, and amines.

Example 4 In vitro Release of Diclofenac

[00210] To determine the in vitro release of diclofenac from the nanoparticles, the nanoparticles were suspended in a release media of 10% Tween 20 in PBS and incubated in a water bath at 37°C under sink conditions. Samples were collected at specific time points. An ultracentrifugation method was used to separate released drug from the nanoparticles.

[00211] Figure 4 shows the results of an in vitro release study on 16-5 PLA-PEG formulations containing dodecylamine (DDA), tetradecylamine, or trioctylamine. Compared to diclofenac free acid nanoparticles (Figure 3), incorporation of amines with diclofenac slowed drug release from the nanoparticles at the T=0 time point. However, as shown in Figure 4, over 90% of the drug was released by the second time point at T=2hrs.

[00212] Figure 5 shows the results of an in vitro release study on 30-5 PLA-PEG formulations with dodecylamine. Addition of dodecylamine to diclofenac clearly impacted diclofenac release from the nanoparticles with the nanoparticles now retaining almost all of the drug at the T=0 time point and releasing about 30% of the diclofenac by the T=4hrs time point and about 80% of the diclofenac by the T=24hrs time point.

[00213] Figure 6 shows the results of an in vitro release study on 50-5 PLA-PEG formulations containing dodecylamine. As shown in Figure 6, when dodecylamine was added to diclofenac to form the nanoparticles using the 50-5 PLA/PEG polymer, diclofenac release was significantly slower compared to that of diclofenac alone in 50/5 PLA PEG nanoparticles (see Figure 3, in vitro release) with the nanoparticles releasing about 30% of the diclofenac by the T=4hrs time point and about 70% of the diclofenac by the T=24hrs time point.

[00214] Figure 7 shows the results of an in vitro release study on 16-5 PLA-PEG, 30-5 PLA-PEG, and 50-5 PLA/PEG formulations containing dodecylamine. As shown in Figure 7, the 30-5 and 50-5 PLA-PEG nanoparticles released diclofenac more slowly than the 16-5 PLA- PEG nanoparticles with the 30-5 and 50-5 PLA-PEG nanoparticles releasing about 30% of the diclofenac by the T=4hrs time point, about 70% of the diclofenac by the T=24hrs time point, and about 90% of the diclofenac by the T=48hrs time point. In comparison, the 16-5 PLA-PEG nanoparticles released approximately all of the diclofenac by the T=4hrs time point.

Example 5 Ketorolac Nanoparticle Preparation

[00215] Table 6. Formulation of ketorolac using different molecular weight PLA/PEG copolymers and homopolymer PLA doping.

[00216] Polymeric nanoparticles made of a copolymer of PLA and PEG were used as carrier in which up to 30% w/w ketorolac (free acid) was entrapped to make the formulation. As can be seen from Table 1, the drug loading was found to be about 4.5% for the 16/5 PLA/PEG polymer formulations, indicating only 15-24% drug entrapment efficiency. When nanoparticles were formulated with 50/5 PLA/PEG, the entrapment efficiency of ketorolac was only 0.13% drug loading and thus, 0.43% encapsulating efficiency. Doping of high molecular weight PLA homopolymer (80 kDa) into 16/5 PLA/PEG also showed only 0.17% drug loading. Figure 8 shows in vitro release of ketorolac from the nanoparticles in Table 6. Release of ketorolac was complete within approximately 2 hours.

[00217] Table 7. Impact of solids concentration and sodium cholate (SC) concentration on ketorolac loading with 50/5 PLA/PEG copolymers. API Solid Ketorolac % SC & # of N P lot #

Size

Formulation theoretical concentration Loading passes

(nm)

load (%) (%) (%)

50/5 0.48% 101-138-1

30 10 1.76 136.1

PLA/PEG 5 passes

50/5 1.1% 101-138-2

30 15 0.59 136.0

PLA/PEG 3 passes

50/5 1.78% 101-138-3

30 20 0.53 142.7

PLA/PEG 3 passes

[00218] Formulations with solid concentrations of 10%, 15%, and 20% with fixed drug to polymer ratio (30:70) were prepared to investigate solid concentration impact on drug loading (Table 7). With decreased solids the level of sodium cholate (SC) was also decreased to achieve appropriate particle size. Formulation with 10% solid concentration with lower SC provided higher drug loading than formulations with 15 and 20% solid.

Example 6 Ketorolac Amine Nanoparticle Preparation

[00219] Ketorolac nanoparticles containing an amine were produced using the following:

10%, 20%, and 30% (w/w) theoretical drug

70%, 80%, and 90% (w/w) Polymer-PEG, 16-5 PLA-PEG, 30-5 PLA-PEG, or 50-5 PLA-PEG

% Total Solids = 10%, 20%, or 30%

Solvents: 21% benzyl alcohol, 79% ethyl acetate (w/w)

Ketorolac: Amine = 1 : 1 equimolar, or Ketorolac: Amine = 1 :0.5 molar

[00220] For a 1 gram batch size, 300 mg of drug plus appropriate amounts of amine based on 1 : 1 molar ratio were added to a first vial. To a second vial was added 700 mg of Polymer-PEG: 16-5, 30-5, or 50-5 PLA-PEG.

[00221] To prepare the organic phase, 4.5 g of a 21 :79 weight ratio of benzyl alcohol to ethyl acetate were each added to the first vial and the second vial. The mixtures were vortexed until the drug and amine were dissolved and the polymers were dissolved. The drug/amine solution and the polymer solution were then combined and vortexed for a few minutes.

[00222] An aqueous solution for a 16-5 PLA-PEG formulation, a 30-5 PLA-PEG formulation, or a 50-5 PLA-PEG formulation was prepared. The 16-5 PLA-PEG formulation contained 0.0025% Sodium Cholate, 2% Benzyl Alcohol, and 4% Ethyl acetate in water. The 30-5 PLA-PEG formulation contained 0.125% Sodium Cholate, 2% Benzyl Alcohol, and 4% Ethyl acetate in water. The 50-5 PLA-PEG formulation contained 0.25% Sodium Cholate, 2% Benzyl Alcohol, and 4% Ethyl acetate in water.

[00223] An emulsion was formed by combining the organic phase into the aqueous solution at a ratio of 5: 1 (aqueous phase: oil phase). The organic phase was poured into the aqueous solution and homogenized using a hand homogenizer for 10 seconds at room temperature to form a coarse emulsion. The solution was subsequently fed through a high pressure homogenizer (1 10S). For the 16-5 PLA-PEG formulation, the pressure was set to 25 psi on gauge for one discreet pass to form the nanoemulsion. For the 30-5 PLA-PEG formulation, the pressure was set to 25 psi on gauge for two discreet passes to form the nanoemulsion. For the 50-5 PLA-PEG formulation, the pressure was set to 45 psi on gauge for two discreet passes to form the nanoemulsion.

[00224] The emulsion was quenched into cold DI water at < 5°C while stirring on a stir plate. The ratio of Quench to Emulsion was 8: 1. 35% (w/w) Tween 80 in water was then added to the quenched emulsion at a ratio of 100: 1 (Tween 80: drug).

[00225] The nanoparticles were concentrated through tangential flow filtration (TFF) followed by diafiltration to remove solvents, unencapsulated drug and solubilizer. A quenched emulsion was initially concentrated through TFF using a 300 KDa Pall cassette (2 membrane) to an approximately 100 mL volume. This was followed by diafiltration using approximately 20 diavolumes (2 L) of cold DI water. The volume was minimized by adding 100 mL of cold water to the vessel and pumping through the membrane for rinsing. Approximately 100-180 mL of material were collected in a glass vial and further concentrated using a smaller TFF to a final volume of 10-20 mL.

[00226] To a tared 20 mL scintillation vial was added a volume of final slurry, which was then dried under vacuum on a lyophilizer with heating. The weight of nanoparticles in the volume of dried slurry was then determined. Concentrated sucrose (0.666g/g) was added to the final slurry sample to attain a 10% solution of sucrose.

[00227] The solids concentration of a 0.45μιη filtered final slurry was determined by filtering a portion of the final slurry sample before addition of sucrose through a 0.45μιη syringe filter. To a tared 20 mL scintillation vial was added a volume of filtered sample, which was then dried under vacuum on a lyophilizer with heating.

[00228] The remaining sample of unfiltered final slurry was frozen with sucrose. [00229] Table 8. Amines screened for ketorolac formulations.

Example 7 Particle Size and Drug Load Analysis of Ketorolac Amine Nanoparticles

[00230] Particle size was analyzed by two techniques— dynamic light scattering (DLS) and laser diffraction. DLS was performed using a Brookhaven ZetaPals instrument at 25°C in dilute aqueous suspension using a 660 nm laser scattered at 90° and analyzed using the Cumulants and N LS methods. Laser diffraction was performed with a Horiba LS950 instrument in dilute aqueous suspension using both a HeNe laser at 633 nm and an LED at 405 nm, scattered at 90° and analyzed using the Mie optical model. The output from the DLS was associated with the hydrodynamic radius of the particles, which includes the PEG "corona", while the laser diffraction instrument is more closely associated with the geometric size of the PLA particle "core".

[00231] Table 9 gives the particle size and drug load of the particles described above.

[00232] Table 9. Formulations prepared using 16/5 PLA/PEG, ketorolac, and amines.

*: Parentheses show ketorolac and amine molar ratio used Example 8 In vitro Release of Ketorolac

[00233] To determine the in vitro release of ketorolac from the nanoparticles, the nanoparticles were suspended in a release media of 10% Tween 20 in PBS and incubated in a water bath at 37°C under sink conditions. Samples were collected at specific time points. An ultracentrifugation method was used to separate released drug from the nanoparticles.

[00234] Figure 9 shows the results of an in vitro release study on 16-5 PLA-PEG formulations containing dodecylamine (DDA). Compared to ketorolac free acid nanoparticles (Figure 8), incorporation of amines with ketorolac slowed drug release from the nanoparticles at the T=0 time point, decreasing the burst release from about 70% to about 30%. However, as shown in Figure 9, over 90% of the drug was released by the second time point at T=lhr.

[00235] Figure 10 shows the results of an in vitro release study on 30-5 PLA-PEG formulations with dodecylamine (DDA). Addition of dodecylamine to ketorolac clearly impacted ketorolac release from the nanoparticles with the nanoparticles now retaining almost all of the drug at the T=0 time point and releasing between about 45% and about 65% of the ketorolac by the T=2hrs time point and between about 70% and about 80% of the ketorolac by the T=4hrs time point.

[00236] Figure 11 shows the results of an in vitro release study on 50-5 PLA-PEG formulations containing dodecylamine (DDA), tetradecylamine, or trioctylamine. As shown in Figure 11, when dodecylamine or tetradecylamine was added to ketorolac to form the nanoparticles using the 50-5 PLA/PEG polymer, ketorolac release was significantly slower compared to that of ketorolac alone in 50/5 PLA/PEG nanoparticles (see Figure 8, in vitro release) with the nanoparticles releasing between about 25% and about 45% of the ketorolac by the T=4hrs time point and between about 85% and 95% of the ketorolac by the T=24hrs time point.

[00237] Figure 12 shows the results of an in vitro release study on 50-5 PLA/PEG formulations containing dodecylamine (DDA), Benethamine, or Benzathine. As shown in Figure 12, the dodecylamine-containing nanoparticles released ketorolac more slowly than the Benzathine-containing nanoparticles, and the Benzathine-containing nanoparticles released ketorolac more slowly than the Benethamine-containing nanoparticles with the Benzathine- containing nanoparticles releasing about 52% of the ketorolac by the T=4hrs time point, and the Benethamine-containing nanoparticles releasing about 72% of the ketorolac by the T=4hrs time point.

[00238] Figure 13 shows the results of an in vitro release study on 16-5 PLA/PEG, 30-5 PLA/PEG, and 50-5 PLA/PEG formulations containing dodecylamine (DDA). As shown in Figure 13, a trend was observed where higher polymer molecular weight correlated with slower release of the ketorolac Example 9 Emulsion Preparation

[00239] A general emulsion procedure for the preparation of drug loaded nanoparticles in aqueous suspension (10 wt.% in sucrose, 3 - 5 wt.% polymeric nanoparticles containing about 10 wt.% drug with respect to particle weight) is summarized as follows. An organic phase is formed composed of 30% solids (wt%) including 24% polymer and 6% active agent. The organic solvents are ethyl acetate (EA) and benzyl alcohol (BA), where BA comprises 21% (wt%) of the organic phase. The organic phase is mixed with an aqueous phase at approximately a 1 :2 ratio (oil phase:aqueous phase) where the aqueous phase is composed of 0.25% sodium cholate, 2% BA, and 4% EA (wt%) in water. The primary emulsion is formed by the combination of the two phases under simple mixing or through the use of a rotor stator homogenizer. The primary emulsion is then formed into a fine emulsion through the use of a high pressure homogenizer. The fine emulsion is then quenched by addition to a chilled quench (0-5 °C) of deionized water under mixing. The quench: emulsion ratio is approximately 10: 1. Then, a solution of 35% (wt%) of Tween-80 is added to the quench to achieve approximately 4% Tween-80 overall. The nanoparticles are then isolated and concentrated through ultrafiltration/ diafiltration.

[00240] In an exemplary procedure to make fast-releasing nanoparticles with suppressed T g , 50% of the polymer is polylactide-poly(ethylene glycol) diblock copolymer (PLA-PEG; 16 kDa-5 kDa) while 50% of the polymer is poly(D,L-lactide) (PLA; 8.5kDa).

[00241] In an exemplary procedure to make normal-releasing nanoparticles with augmented T g , 100% of the polymer is polylactide-poly (ethylene glycol) diblock copolymer (PLA-PEG; 16 kDa-5 kDa).

[00242] In an exemplary procedure to make slow-releasing nanoparticles with augmented T g , 50% of the polymer is polylactide-poly(ethylene glycol) diblock copolymer (PLA-PEG; 16 kDa-5 kDa) while 50% of the polymer is poly(D,L-lactide) (PLA; 75kDa). Example 10 Rofecoxib Nanoparticles

[00243] Rofecoxib is encapsulated using above procedures. Table I and Figure 14 indicate the drug release from nanoparticles made of 16/5 PLA/PEG, 50/5 PLA/PEG, 65/5 PLA/PEG, and 65/5 PLA/PEG with 80kDa PLA. In vitro release test was performed in the 10% T20 in PBS release medium using centrifuge method

Table 10. Formulation of Rofecoxib in different molecular weight of PLA/PEG copolymer and homopolymer PLA doping

65/5 PLA/PEG 5 10% 3.0 159

65/5 PLA/PEG +

80kDa PLA 5 10% 3.0 183

[00244] Another approach was taken to modulate the fast release of Rofecoxib was to make an effective larger size of the drug as well as to make a more hydrophobic entity by complexing rofecoxib to hydrophobic cyclodextrin Based on high solubility in BA/EA as well as large molecular weight of cyclodextrin, heptakis(2,3,6-tri-0-benzoyl)- -cyclodextrin, Triacetyl- -cyclodextrin, and Butyl- -cyclodextrin were chosen.

[00245] The rofecoxib with hydrophobic cyclodextrin formulation is: 5% (w/w) theoretical drug; 35% (w/w) hydrophobic cyclodextrin: Heptakis(2,3,6-tri-0-benzoyl)- - cyclodextrin, Triacetyl-cyclodextrin and Butyl- -cyclodextrin; 60% (w/w) Polymer-PEG, (47- 5 PLA-PEG); % Total Solids = 10%; Solvents: 21% benzyl alcohol, 79% ethyl acetate (w/w).

[00246] 1 gram batch size: 50mg of Rofecoxib + 350mg of appropriate hydrophobic

[CD] + 600mg of 47/5 PLA-PEG was dissolved in 9gram of premixed benzyl alcohol and ethylacetate (1.89gram of BA+7.1 1 gram of EA) overnight. The nanoparticles were prepared as follows.

[00247] Preparation of organic solution

1.1 Organic solution preparation

1.1.1 To 20mL glass vial, Rofecoxib 50mg was weighed out.

1.1.2 For each different hydrophobic cyclodextrins, 300mg of appropriate hydrophobic cyclodextrin was added to Rofecoxib.

1.1.3 600mg of 47/5 PLA/PEG was also weighed out into the vial.

1.1.4 Add 9gram of BA/EA mixture (21/79 wt ratio) and vortex until all the components was is dissolved (overnight).

[00248] Preparation of Aqueous Solution:

1.2 For 47/5 PLA-PEG formulation: 0.3% Sodium cholate, 2% Benzyl Alcohol, 4% Ethyl acetate in Water

1.2.1 To 1L bottle add 3g sodium cholate and 937g of DI water and mix on stir plate until dissolved.

1.2.2 Add 20g of benzyl alcohol and 40g of ethyl acetate to sodium

cholate/water and mix on stir plate until dissolved

[00249] Formation of emulsion. Ratio of Aqueous phase to Oil phase is 5: 1 1.3 Pour organic phase into aqueous solution and homogenize using hand homogenizer for 10 seconds at room temperature to form course emulsion

1.3.1 Feed solution through high pressure homogenizer (110S).

1.3.2 For the 47-5 PLA-PEG formulation set pressure to 45psi on gauge for 3 discreet passes to form nanoemulsion.

[00250] Formation of nanoparticles

1.4 Pour emulsion into Quench (D.I. water) at <5C while stirring on stir plate.

Ratio of Quench to Emulsion is 10: 1

1.5 Add 35% (w/w) Tween 80 in water to quench at ratio of 100: 1 Tween 80 to drug.

1.6 Concentrate nanoparticles through TFF

1.7 Concentrate quench on TFF with 300kDa Pall cassette (2 membrane) to -l OOmL.

1.8 Diafilter -20 diavolumes (2 liter) of cold DI water. Bring volume down to minimal volume

1.9 Add l OOmL of cold water to vessel and pump through membrane to rinse.

1.10 Collect material in glass vial, 100-180mL

1.11 Further concentrate the nanoparticle on a smaller TFF to a final volume of 10-20mL

[00251] Determination of solids concentration of unfiltered final slurry:

1.12 To tared 20mL scintillation vial add a volume of final slurry and dry under vacuum on lyo/oven.

1.13 Determine weight of nanoparticles in the volume of slurry dried down

2. Add sucrose powder to final slurry sample to attain 10% sucrose.

3. Determination of solids concentration of 0.45um filtered final slurry:

3.1 Filter about a portion of the final slurry sample before addition of sucrose through 0.45μιη syringe filter

3.2 To tared 20mL scintillation vial add a volume of filtered sample and dry under vacuum oven.

[00252] Freeze remaining sample of unfiltered final slurry with sucrose. Table 1 1 shows the Rofecoxib load and size of nanoparticles with three different hydrophobic cyclodextrins.

Table 1 1

[00253] In vitro release test was performed on selected formulations in the 10% T20 in

PBS release medium using centrifuge, and shown in Figure 15. As can be seen from Fig 15, 7(tri- 0-benzoyl)^-CD and 7(triacetyl)- -CD incorporation into nanoparticles with rofecoxib clearly slowed down the Rofecoxib release from NPs whereas butyls-CD may not slow down the Rofecoxib release. Compared to rofecoxib alone (Fig 14) in the nanoparticles, incorporation of certain hydrophobic [CD] with Rofecoxib demonstrated controlled release of Rofecoxib (Fig 15). This clear impact of hydrophobic [CD] might indicate the possible interaction of 7(tri-0- benzoyl)" -CD and 7(triacetyl)- -CD with rofecoxib such as inclusion/complexation.

Example 11 Celecoxib Nanoparticles

[00254] Celecoxib nanoparticles are encapsulation using above described procedures, with 20%-30% (w/w) theoretical drug , wt.% 70-80% (w/w) Polymer-PEG and/or

homopolymers (D,L form), wt.%. % Total Solids = 20% and 30% wt.%; Solvents: 21% (BA) benzyl alcohol, 79% (EA) ethyl acetate (w/w), except where noted, (MeC^) methylene chloride, wt.% Table 12 indicates the impact of PLA (polylactic acid) molecular weight and addition of blends of PLA/PLA-PEG on drug load and in vitro release:

Table 12

[00255] The addition of various molecular weight PLA-PEG, blends of 16k-5k PLA- PEG, 50k-5k PLA-PEG, 80k PLA to the formulations resulted in drug loads of 13-18%, with in vitro release of 70-98%, drug release after one hour of incubation at 37°C with orbital shaking under sink conditions.

[00256] A formulation produced with L-form 16k-5k PLA-PEG (i.e. poly(/-lactic) acid- PEG) made with a solvent blend of benzyl alcohol: methylene chloride (21:79 w/w) ratio resulted in a significantly low drug load of 2.58%, with in vitro release at one hour to be 94.9%. The addition of the L-form of 16k-5k PLA-PEG, which is crystalline relative to the D,L- form which is amorphous greatly reduced the encapsulation of drug.

[00257] Various drug loaded nanoparticles were prepared, using 5-30% (w/w) theoretical drug , wt.% 70-95% (w/w) Polymer-PEG and/or homopolymers (D,L form), wt.%. % Total Solids = 20% and 30% wt.% Solvents: 21% (BA) benzyl alcohol, 79% (EA) ethyl acetate (w/w), wt.%, as shown in Table K

Table 13 Im act of Celecoxib Dru Load on dru load and in vitro release:

[00258] Table 13 indicates that drug load of the nanoparticles impacts drug release. The 50-5 and 65-5/75-5 PLA-PEG polymer-PEGs were impacted by drug load, while with the 16-5 PLA-PEG, drug load did not impact release. With the 16-5 PLA-PEG polymers, with similar particle size of 122 and 129nm resulted in 98-99% drug release regardless of drug load. With the 50-5 PLA-PEG polymer, the lower load, 3.48%, resulted in drug release of 79% at the one hour time point while the at the higher load, 18.3%, the drug release was 96%, both at similar particle size. The formulations with 65-5 and 75-5 PLA-PEG, with 14.49% and 4.47% drug load, respectively, and drug release of 71% and 44%, respectively, resulted in the slowest drug release., but with larger particle size of these batches. Low drug load nanoparticles were also formed from 5% (w/w) theoretical drug , wt.%; 95% (w/w) Polymer-PEG and/or

homopolymers, wt.% Total Solids = 20-30%, wt.% Solvents: 21% (BA) benzyl alcohol, 79% (EA) ethyl acetate (w/w), wt.%.

Table 14: Im act of Nano article Particle Size on in vitro release at low dru load:

[00259] Table 14 indicates that particle size impacts drug release, as particle size increase in vitro release slows down, at similar drug loads. As particle size increased for the 50-5 PLA-PEG polymer from 146nm to 310nm, the drug release at one hour decreased from 79% to 28%. In addition this trend is observed with 16-5 PLA-PEG. With particles of 164nm the one hour drug release was 96% while with a 370nm particle the drug release is 76%.

[00260] Another formulation with polycaprolactone was prepared with 20% (w/w) theoretical drug , wt.% 80% (w/w) Polymer-PEG and/or homopolymers, wt.% % Total Solids = 20%, wt.% Solvents: 21% (BA) benzyl alcohol, 79% (EA) ethyl acetate (w/w), except where noted, (MeC12) methylene chloride , 100%, wt.%. Table 15 shows the impact of PCL

(polycaprolactone) molecular weight and addition of blends of PLA/PLA-PEG on drug load and in vitro release:

Drug

Solid size % release % release

Lot # theoretical Loading %

con (nm) T=0 T=lhr loading

16/5 PCL-PEG (100%) (in vitro not

20 20% 0.78% 124.2 NA NA run)

Table 15

[00261] The addition of various molecular weight PCL (polycaprolactone), blends of 16.3k-5k PCL-PEG, 8k, 30k,60k,92k PCL with 45k-5k PLA-PEG, resulted in drug loads of 0.8%-13%, with in vitro release of 70-98%, drug release after one hour of incubation at 37°C with orbital shaking under sink conditions.

[00262] Another formulation with hydrophobic agents that may hydrogen bond with the polymer matrix on drug load and influence in vitro release was prepared with 20% (w/w) theoretical drug , wt.%; 60% (w/w) Polymer-PEG, wt.%; 20% (w/w) additive, wt.% % Total Solids = 20%, wt.%; Solvents: 21% (BA) benzyl alcohol, 79% (EA) ethyl acetate (w/w), wt.%

[00263] The impact of the addition of hydrophobic molecules that can hydrogen bond with the polymer matrix on drug load and in vitro release is shown in Table 16:

Table 16 [00264] The addition of n-acetyl-L-tyrosine ethyl ester, vitamin E succinate or pamoic acid resulted in acceptable drug loads of 9-18%. 83-97% of drug was released by the one hour time point.

[00265] A formulation with hydrophilic and hydrophobic agents was prepared using: 20%-30% (w/w) theoretical drug , wt%; 35%-60% (w/w) Polymer-PEG, wt.%; 5%-35% (w/w) additive, wt.%; % Total Solids = 14-20%, wt.%; Solvents: 21% (BA) benzyl alcohol, 79% (EA) ethyl acetate (w/w), wt.%, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) added in an equivalent proportion to the blend of benzyl alcohol: ethyl acetate, as shown in Table 17

Table 17

[00266] The addition of hydrophilic cyclodextrins, i.e. hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin, beta-cyclodextrin or gamma-cyclodextrin resulted in acceptable drug loads of 12-15%%, with 94-98% drug released by one hour. Caffeine was incorporated, (with the possible formation of pi-pi interaction with the drug), and resulted in a drug load of 15%, 93% of drug was released at the one hour time point. Hydrophobic linear and bulky molecules, with hydroxyl group, i.e. dodecandiol, lauroyl lipid, and propyl gallate, were evaluated to possibly form hydrogen bonds with the polymer or add hydrophobicity to the matrix resulted in drug loads of 10-20%, but greater than 90% of the drug was released at the one hour time point. [00267] A formulation with beta- cyclodextrins was prepared using: 6%-26% (w/w) theoretical drug , wt%; 40%-60% (w/w) Polymer-PEG, wt.%; 0.10-1 molar ratio of beta- cyclodextrins to 1 molar ratio of drug; Solvents: 21% (BA) benzyl alcohol, 79% (EA) ethyl acetate (w/w), wt.%. The impact of the addition of hydrophobic beta-cyclodextrins on drug load and in vitro release shown in Table 18.

[00268] The addition of hydrophobic cyclodextrins, i.e. and 2,3,6 tri-o-benzoyl-b-CD, triacetyl-b-CD and butyl-b-CD resulted in drug loads of 1.6-17%, depending on the target drug load with 56-93% drug released by one hour. The addition of 2,3,6 tri-o-benzoyl-b- cyclodextrin at 0.35 : 1 molar ratio of b-CD to drug with a low drug load of 3.26% load resulted in the slowest drug release. Additional batches made with increased drug load, 5.4-16.78%, resulted in faster release, 77-92% drug release at one hour. The addition of the other beta- cyclodextrins, , triacetyl-b-CD and butyl-b-CD, at the lower drug loads did not show slower drug release relative to the 2,3,6 tri-o-benzoyl-b-CD.

Example 12 Celecoxib nanoparticle preparation using BA/EA mixture with water miscible solvent as organic phase solvent [00269] Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and dimethylformamide (DMF) are categorized as solvents for nanoprecipitation method for making nanoparticles, and have not been generally used as part of organic solvent in preparing nanoparticles through O-in-W nanoemulsion method, due to their water miscible property. Nanoparticles are formed using BA or BA/EA mixture with water miscible solvents, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and dimethylformamide (DMF), using nanoemulsion method. Formulations were produced at 1 gram batch, using lOOmg of drug and 900mg of polymer. 10% (w/w) theoretical drug loading, 90% (w/w) 45-5 PLA-PEG, and 10% total solid (except lot 131-150-2) were used for all formulations.

Celecoxib was used as a model drug.

[00270] Nanoparticles prepared with the nanoemulsion process using 21/79 BA/EA only as organic phase solvent (lotl31-133-6) was the control.

[00271] Lot 131-133-1,2,3,4,5 were produced using mixtures of 21/79 BA/EA with DMSO as organic phase solvent, with BA/EA content in the range of 98% to 50%. Lot 131- 150-4,5,6,2 were produced using mixtures of 21/79 BA/EA with DMF as organic phase solvent, with BA/EA content in the range of 98% to 33%. Formulation conditions were listed in Table 19. Characterization data on particle sizes, drug loadings, and solid concentrations of all formulations were compiled in Table 20. In vitro release of control batch and batches using (BA/EA) mixture with DMSO as organic phase solvent were shown in Table 21, and Figure 16.

Table 20. Nanoparticle properties

Table 21. In-vitro release of control batch and batches usin BA EA mixture with DMSO

[00272] After adding DMSO or DMF, all formulations were processed as described above. The procedure for manufacturing nanoparticles using the nanoemulsion process (lot 131-133-3):

[00273] Preparation of drug/polymer solution

1.1 To 20mL glass vial add celecoxib, lOOmg

1.2 Add 990 mg of dimethyl sulfoxide to drug and vortex until it is clear.

1.3 Prepare 21/79 BA/EA mixture by weighing: 21 g of BA and 79 g of EA.

1.4 Add 900mg of polymer-PEG to a new 20mL glass vial.

1.5 Add 8010mg of 21/79 BA/EA mixture to polymer and vortex until it is dissolved.

1.6 Mix drug and polymer solution before formulation by adding polymer solution into drug solution, and vortex.

[00274] Preparation of Aqueous Solution: 0.4% sodium cholate, 2% Benzyl alcohol, and 4% ethyl acetate in Water:

1.7 To 1L bottle add 4g sodium cholate and 956g of DI water and mix on stir plate until dissolved.

1.8 Add 20g of benzyl alcohol and 40g of ethyl acetate to sodium cholate/water and mix on stir plate until dissolved [00275] Formation of emulsion. Ratio of Aqueous phase to Oil phase is 5: 1

1.9 Pour organic phase into aqueous solution and homogenize using hand

homogenizer for 10 seconds at room temperature to form course emulsion

1.10 Feed solution through high pressure homogenizer (1 10S), set pressure to 25psi on gauge for 1 pass.

[00276] Formation of nanoparticles

1.11 Pour emulsion into Quench (D.I. water) at <5C while stirring on stir plate. Ratio of Quench to Emulsion is 5 : 1

[00277] Concentrate nanoparticles through TFF

1.12 Concentrate quench on TFF with 300kDa Pall cassette (2 membranes) to

~200mL.

1.13 Diafilter -20 diavolumes (4 liter) of cold DI water. Bring volume down to

minimal volume.

1.14 Add lOOmL of cold water to vessel and pump through membrane to rinse.

[00278] Collect material in glass vial, 50-100 mL

[00279] Determination of solids concentration of unfiltered final slurry:

1.15 To tared 20mL scintillation vial add a volume of final slurry and dry under

vacuum at 80 °C in vacuum oven.

1.16 Determine weight of nanoparticles in the volume of slurry dried down

[00280] Add concentrated sucrose (0.1 1 lg/g) to final slurry sample to attain 10% sucrose.

[00281] Determination of solids concentration of 0.45um filtered final slurry:

1.17 Filter about a portion of the final slurry sample before addition of sucrose

through 0.45μιη syringe filter

1.18 To tared 20mL scintillation vial add a volume of filtered sample and dry under vacuum at 80 °C in vacuum oven.

[00282] Freeze remaining sample of unfiltered final slurry with sucrose.

[00283] The yield of nanoparticles was sufficient and was collected after TFF for all formulations, with solid concentration in the range of 5-8 mg/mL. NP yields are all above 50%, except two batches with lower (BA/EA) content, lot 131 -133-5 with 50% (BA/EA) and lot 131- 150-2 with 33% (BA/EA). Particle sizes were well controlled in the range of 140 - 160nm for all batches with BA/EA content > 50%. Drug loadings of all formulations are equal to or higher than the control. These results demonstrate the potential to use theses mixtures to improve drug loading. In vitro release profiles from batches using (BA/EA) mixture with DMSO overlay with the release from the control batch, lot 131 -133-6. Adding water miscible solvents to the organic phase do not affect in vitro release of nanoparticles. Overall, by adding water miscible solvents, DMSO or DMF, to organic phase up to 50%, nanoparticles could be prepared using the nanoemulsion method without changing in vitro release of nanoparticles. Drugs, which could not be encapsulated or have low encapsulation efficiency previously, could be potentially encapsulated using these modified organic phase solvents.

EQUIVALENTS

[00284] Those skilled in the art will recognize, or be able to ascertain using no more than routine experimentation, many equivalents to the specific embodiments of the invention described herein. Such equivalents are intended to be encompassed by the following claims.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

[00285] The entire contents of all patents, published patent applications, websites, and other references cited herein are hereby expressly incorporated herein in their entireties by reference