Impurity assessment, development and validation of an RP-HPLC method for the determination of eleven potential impurities of eltrombopag precursor

Demirhan T., Guksu E., Yazar Y., Keskin E., Bellur Atici E., ÖZKAN S. A.

Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, vol.243, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 243
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jpba.2024.116085
  • Journal Name: Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Analytical Abstracts, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Eltrombopag, HPLC, Impurity-profiling, Related substances, Validation
  • Ankara University Affiliated: Yes


Eltrombopag is an oral non-peptide thrombopoietin receptor (TPO-R) agonist indicated for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with persistent or chronic immune thrombocytopenia (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, ITP) or chronic hepatitis C infection and the treatment of severe aplastic anemia. The purpose of this research was to assess the possible impurities that may carry over to eltrombopag from its precursor Eltro-1 (3′-amino-2′-hydroxy-[1,1′-biphenyl]-3-carboxylic acid) and to develop a specific analytical method for the determination of these impurities. Eltro-1 samples synthesized by two different synthesis routes were investigated during the evaluation and method development studies. Besides the expected process-related impurities (Eltro-1A – Eltro‐1J), e.g., starting materials, intermediates, and/or compounds formed from their further reactions, an unknown impurity detected above 0.10% was identified by LC-MS, synthesized and fully characterized by NMR, MS and FTIR (Eltro‐1K). Accordingly, an HPLC-RP method for the determination of eleven impurities (Eltro-1A – Eltro‐1K) in Eltro-1 was developed and validated according to ICH Q2. The control limits for impurities in Eltro-1 were set at ≤ 0.15% for Eltro-1A – Eltro‐1J and ≤ 1.0% for Eltro‐1K based on fate, spike-purge and carryover studies and in accordance with the ICH M7 classification for impurities in drug substance. Eltro-1 and eleven impurities at the specification limit were separated from each other and the diluent peaks with sufficient resolution without interference. Separation was performed on a Waters XBridge C18 column (150 × 4.6 mm, 3.5 μm) at 40 °C with a 10 µL injection volume at a detection wavelength of 220 nm and 15 °C sample temperature. The gradient elution is performed at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min for 40 min with mobile phase A (0.1% orthophosphoric acid in water) and B (acetonitrile) according to the following program: Time (min) / Acetonitrile (%): 0/0, 35/70, 36/0, 40/0. Test and standard solutions were prepared at a concentration of 1.0 mg/mL and 1.0 µg/mL, respectively, using a mixture of mobile phase A and acetonitrile (75/25) as diluent. This is the first specific, selective, sensitive, linear, precise, accurate, and robust HPLC method for the determination of Eltro-1A – Eltro‐1K in Eltro-1, which showed no significant degradation under thermal stress, photostability (UV and VIS), and standard accelerated and long-term stability conditions.