Comparative study of intestinal uptake of eicosaheptaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from a new “intrinsically acid-resistant softgel” versus an “enteric coated softgel” in albino wistar rats - BC-640

Project type: Research
Desired discipline(s): Animal science, Life Sciences, Medicine, Pharmacy / Pharmacology
Company: GelEntroCeutics Inc.
Project Length: 6 months to 1 year
Preferred start date: As soon as possible.
Language requirement: English
Location(s): Canada; Canada
No. of positions: 1
Desired education level: Master's
Open to applicants registered at an institution outside of Canada: Yes

About the company: 

Our company has come up with a new formulation to make intrinsically acid-resistant enteric soft-gelatin capsules.

Enteric capsules are those that bypass the stomach and disintegrate into the intestine.

Capsules need to be enteric in many cases as many medications may irritate the stomach or due to the higher efficacy and results stability of the drug, should they disintegrate in the intestine.

Previously, capsules were made acid-resistant by coating them with another layer of acid-resistant excipients. This means massive capital investment in infrastructures, a higher rate of waste and failure, labour, and use of raw material.

Our formulation will enable pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies to make intrinsically acid-resistant enteric soft-gelatin capsules without the need to go through the coating process. With a few changes (addition of excipients) in the raw material mixture of the soft-gelatin capsules, our formulation will produce Enteric Soft-Gelatin Capsules.

Describe the project.: 

Supplements or functional foods enriched with EPA and DHA, primarily as fish oil or cod liver oil are recommended for the prevention of cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases.

Fish oil capsules frequently include undesirable side effects such as eructation with a fishy aftertaste, heartburn, flatulence, and diarrhea.

Coating of fish oil capsules with gastric acid-resistant layers in order to delay the release of content is helpful to minimize the side effects and improve patient compliance. However, the coating of the sofgels is challenging due to the possible deformation and flaking phenomenon during the coating process. In order to avoid these challenges, an intrinsically acid-resistant formulation of gelatin has been developed by our team and it has been used to make fish oil sofgels that are acid-resistant per se and do not need to go through the coating process.

There are substantial evidences that the method of formulation and manufacturing of the drugs can markedly affect the bioavailability of the drug. This is of particular importance when the dosage form is a delayed-release form such as enteric softgel capsules.

The present study was aimed at comparison of intestinal uptake of EPA and DHA from and intrinsically acid-resistant (enteric) softgel versus a conventionally enteric coated softgel of the same compounds in a group of albino wistar rats. The changes of DHA and EPA compositions in plasma phospholipids following ingestion of a single dose of fish oil capsules will be monitored.



Required expertise/skills: 

  • Working with experimental animals (giving medication and collecting/handling plasma samplings from albino wistar rats)
  • Being able to measure plasma phospholipid fatty acids by HPLC