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Title:  Biodegradable botulinum toxin implant

United States Patent:  6,506,399

Issued:  January 14, 2003

Inventors:  Donovan; Stephen (Capistrano Beach, CA)

Assignee:  Allergan Sales, Inc. (Irvine, CA)

Appl. No.:  971424

Filed:  October 4, 2001

Abstract

A controlled release system for multiphasic, in vivo release of therapeutic amounts of botulinum toxin in a human patient over a prolonged period of time. The controlled release system can comprise a plurality of botulinum toxin incorporating polymeric microspheres.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is based upon the discovery of a pulsatile release implant comprising a biocompatible, biodegradable polymer capable of exhibiting in vivo multiphasic release of therapeutic amounts of a botulinum toxin over a prolonged period of tome.

A botulinum toxin delivery system within the scope of the present invention is capable of pulsatile (i.e. multiphasic) release of therapeutic amounts of a botulinum toxin. By pulsatile release it is meant that during a period of time, which can extend from about 1 hour to about 4 weeks, a quantity of therapeutically effective (i.e. biologically active) botulinum toxin is released from a carrier material in vivo at the site of implantation. The pulse of released botulinum toxin can comprise (for a botulinum toxin type A) as little as about 1 unit (i.e. to treat blepharospasm) to as much as 200 units (i.e. to treat of a large spasmodic muscle, such as the biceps). The quantity of botulinum toxin required for therapeutic efficacy can be varied according to the known clinical potency of the different botulinum toxin serotypes. For example, several orders of magnitude more units of a botulinum toxin type B are typically required to achieve a physiological effect comparable to that achieved from use of a botulinum toxin type A. Prior to and following each pulse there is a period of reduced or substantially no botulinum toxin release from the implant.

The botulinum toxin released in therapeutically effective amounts by a controlled release delivery system within the scope of the present invention is preferably, substantially biologically active botulinum toxin. In other words, the botulinum toxin released from the disclosed delivery system is capable of binding with high affinity to a cholinergic neuron, being translocated, at least in part, across the neuronal membrane, and through its activity in the cytosol of the neuron of inhibiting exocytosis of acetylcholine from the neuron. The present invention excludes from its scope use deliberate use of a botulinum toxoid as an antigen in order to confer immunity to the botulinum toxin through development of antibodies (immune response) due to the immunogenicity of the toxoid. The purpose of the present invention is to permit a controlled release of minute amounts of a botulinum toxin from a delivery system so as to inhibit exocytosis in vivo and thereby achieve a desired therapeutic effect, such as reduction of muscle spasm or muscle tone, preventing a muscle from contracting or to reduce an excessive secretion (i.e. a sweat secretion) from a cholinergically influenced secretory cell or gland.

Pulsatile release of a botulinum toxin from an implant can be accomplished by preparing a plurality of implants with differing carrier material compositions. For example, holding other factors, such as polymer molecular weight, constant an implant can be made up of a several sets of botulinum toxin encapsulated microspheres, each set of microspheres having a different polymer composition such that the polymers of each set of microspheres degrade, and release toxin, at differing rates. Conveniently, the plurality of sets of differing polymer composition microspheres can be pressed into the form of a disc, and implanted as a pellet. The pulsatile release implant can be implanted subcutaneously, intramuscularly, intracranially, intraglandular, etc, at a site so that systemic entry of the toxin is not encouraged.

A first pulse of a botulinum toxin can be locally administered due to the presence of a botulinum toxin (i.e. free or non-implant incorporated botulinum toxin) administered in conjunction with and at the same time as insertion of the implant and/or due to a burst effect of botulinum toxin release from the implanted microspheres. A second pulse of a botulinum toxin can be administered by the implant at about three months post implantation upon biodegradation of a first set of microspheres. A third pulse of a botulinum toxin can be delivered by the system at about six months post implantation upon dissolution of a second set of bioerodible microspheres, and so on. Thus, a botulinum toxin delivery system within the scope of the present invention which comprises three differing sets of appropriate microsphere polymer compositions, permits a patient to be reimplant or reinvested with a botulinum toxin only once every 12 months.

For example, it is known that biodegradable PLA:PGA microspheres can be made with varying copolymer content such that proportionally different polymer degradation time windows result. Thus, a 75:25 lactide:glycolide polymer can degrade at about ninety days post implantation. Additionally, a 100:0 lactide:glycolide polymer can degrade at about one hundred and eighty days post implantation. Furthermore, a 95:5 poly(DL-lactide):glycolide polymer can degrade at about two hindered and seventy days post implantation. Finally, a 100:0 poly(DL-lactide):glycolide polymer can degrade at about twelve months post implantation. See e.g. Kissel et al, Microencapsulation of Antigens Using Biodegradable Polymers: Facts and Fantasies, Behring Inst. Mitt., 98;1 72-183:1997; Cleland J. L., et al, Development of a Single-Shot Subunit Vaccine for HOV-1: Part 4. Optimizing Microencapsulation and Pulsatile Release of MN rpg120 from Biodegradable Microspheres, J Cont Rel 47;135-150:1997, and; Lewis D. H., Controlled Release of Bioactive Agents from Lactide/Glycolide Polymers, pages 1-41 of Chasin M., et al, "Biodegradable Polymers as Drug-Delivery Systems", Marcel Dekker, N.Y. (1990). The above-specified four discrete sets of polymeric microspheres can be prepared as botulinum toxin incorporating microspheres, and combined into a single implant capable of pulsatile release of the botulinum toxin over a one year period, thereby providing a patient treatment period per implant of about 15-16 months.

The delivery system is prepared so that the botulinum toxin is substantially uniformly dispersed in a biodegradable carrier. An alternate pulsatile delivery system within the scope of the present invention can comprise a carrier coated by a biodegradable coating, either the thickness of the coating or the coating material being varied, such that in the different sets of microspheres, the respective coating take from 3, 6, 9, etc months to be dissolved, thereby providing the desired toxin pulses. The microspheres are inert and are of such a size or due to being pressed into a disc, that they do no diffuse significantly beyond the site of injection. Hence, multiple implantations, as by needle injection, can be carried out at the same time.

A third embodiment within the scope of the present invention of a pulsatile, implant can comprise a non-porous, non-biodegradable, biocompatible tube which is closed at one end. Carrier associated neurotoxin is interspaced discrete locations within the bore of the tube. Thus, toxin at an open or porous, or erodible plug sealed pug the end of the tube rapidly diffuses out, causing the first local administration. Toxin further from the end of the tube takes longer to diffuse out and results in the second local

The thickness of the implant can be used to control the absorption of water by, and thus the rate of release of a neurotoxin from, a composition of the invention, thicker implants releasing the polypeptide more slowly than thinner ones.

The neurotoxin in a neurotoxin controlled release composition can also be mixed with other excipients, such as bulking agents or additional stabilizing agents, such as buffers to stabilize the neurotoxin during lyophilization.

The carrier is preferably comprised of a non-toxic, non-immunological, biocompatible material. Suitable the implant materials can include polymers of poly(2-hydroxy ethyl methacrylate) (p-HEMA), poly(N-vinyl pyrrolidone) (p-NVP)+, poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), polydimethyl siloxanes (PDMS), ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymers (EVAc), a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), polyvinylpyrrolidone/methylacrylate copolymers, poly(lactic acid) (PLA), poly(glycolic acid) (PGA), polyanhydrides, poly(ortho esters), collagen and cellulosic derivatives and bioceramics, such as hydroxyapatite (HPA), tricalcium phosphate (TCP), and aliminocalcium phosphate (ALCAP).

Biodegradable carriers can be made from polymers of poly(lactides), poly(glycolides), collagens, poly(lactide-co-glycolides), poly(lactic acid)s, poly(glycolic acid)s, poly(lactic acid-co-glycolic acid)s, polycaprolactone, polycarbonates, polyesteramides, polyanhydrides, poly(amino acids), polyorthoesters, polycyanoacrylates, poly(p-dioxanone), poly(alkylene oxalates), biodegradable polyurethanes, blends and copolymers thereof. Particularly preferred carriers are formed as polymers or copolymers of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) ("PLGA"), where the lactide:glycolide ratio can be varied depending on the desired carrier degradation rate.

Biodegradable PLGA polymers have been used to form resorbable sutures and bone plates and in several commercial microparticle formulations. PLGA degrades through bulk erosion to produce lactic and glycolic acid and is commercially available in a variety of molecular weight and polymer end groups (e.g. lauryl alcohol or free acid). Polyanhydrides are another group of polymers that have been approved for use I humans, and have been used to deliver proteins and antigens. Unlike PLGA, polyanhydrides degrade by surface erosion, releasing neurotoxin entrapped at the carrier surface.

To prepare a suitable implant, the carrier polymer is dissolved in an organic solvent such as methylene chloride or ethyl acetate and the botulinum toxin is then mixed into the polymer solution. The conventional processes for microsphere formation are solvent evaporation and solvent (coacervation) methods. The water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W) double emulsion method is a widely used method of protein antigen encapsulation into PLGA microspheres.

An aqueous solution of a botulinum toxin can be used to make a pulsatile implant. An aqueous solution of the neurotoxin is added to the polymer solution (polymer previously dissolved in a suitable organic solvent). The volume of the aqueous (neurotoxin) solution relative to the volume of organic (polymer) solvent is an important parameter in the determination of both the release characteristics of the microspheres and with regard to the encapsulation efficiency (ratio of theoretical to experimental protein loading) of the neurotoxin.

The encapsulation efficiency can also be increased by increasing the kinematic viscosity of the polymer solution. The kinematic viscosity of the polymer solution can be increased by decreasing the operating temperature and/or by increasing the polymer concentration in the organic solvent.

Thus, with a low aqueous phase (neurotoxin) to organic phase (polymer) volume ratio (i.e. aqueous volume:organic volume is .ltoreq.0.1 ml/ml) essentially 100% of the neurotoxin can be encapsulated by the microspheres and the microspheres can show a triphasic release: an initial burst (first pulse), a lag phase with little or no neurotoxin being released and a second release phase (second pulse).

The length of the lag phase is dependent upon the polymer degradation rate which is in turn dependant upon polymer composition and molecular weight. Thus, the lag phase between the first (burst) pulse and the second pulse increases as the lactide content is increased, or as the polymer molecular weight is increased with the lactide:glycolide ratio being held constant. In addition to a low aqueous phase (neurotoxin) volume, operation at low temperature (2-8 degrees C.), as set forth above, increases the encapsulation efficiency, as well as reducing the initial burst and promoting increased neurotoxin stability against thermal inactivation

Suitable implants within the scope of the present invention for the controlled in vivo release of a neurotoxin, such as a botulinum toxin, can be prepared so that the implant releases the neurotoxin in a pulsatile manner. A pulsatile release implant can release a neurotoxin is a biphasic or multiphase manner. Thus, a pulsatile release implant can have a relatively short initial induction (burst) period, followed by periods during which reduced, little or no neurotoxin is released.

A controlled release of biologically active neurotoxin is a release which results in therapeutically effective, with negligible serum levels, of biologically active, neurotoxin over a period longer than that obtained following direct administration of aqueous neurotoxin. It is preferred that a controlled release be a release of neurotoxin for a period of about six months or more, and more preferably for a period of about one year or more.

An implant within the scope of the present invention can also be formulated as a suspension for injection. Such suspensions may be manufactured by general techniques well known in the pharmaceutical art, for example by milling the polylactide/polypeptide mixture in an ultracentrifuge mill fitted with a suitable mesh screen, for example a 120 mesh, and suspending the milled, screened particles in a solvent for injection, for example propylene glycol, water optionally with a conventional viscosity increasing or suspending agent, oils or other known, suitable liquid vehicles for injection.

Denaturation of the encapsulated neurotoxin in the body at 37 degrees C. for a prolonged period of time can be reduced by stabilizing the neurotoxin by lyophilizing it with albumin, lyophilizing from an acidic solution, lyophilizing from a low moisture content solution (these three criteria can be met with regard to a botulinum toxin type A by use of non-reconstituted Botox.RTM.) and using a specific polymer matrix composition.

Preferably, the release of biologically active neurotoxin in vivo does not result in a significant immune system response during the release period of the neurotoxin.

A pulsatile botulinum toxin delivery system preferably permits botulinum release from biodegradable polymer microspheres in a biologically active form, that is with a substantially native toxin conformation. To stabilize a neurotoxin, both in a format which renders the neurotoxin useful for mixing with a suitable polymer which can form the implant matrix (i.e. a powdered neurotoxin which has been freeze dried or lyophilized) as well as while the neurotoxin is present or incorporated into the matrix of the selected polymer, various pharmaceutical excipients can be used. Suitable excipients can include starch, cellulose, talc, glucose, lactose, sucrose, gelatin, malt, rice, flour, chalk, silica gel, magnesium stearate, sodium stearate, glycerol monostearate, sodium chloride, albumin and dried skim milk. The neurotoxin in a neurotoxin controlled release composition can be mixed with excipients, bulking agents and stabilizing agents, and buffers to stabilize the neurotoxin during lyophilization or freeze drying.

It has been discovered that a stabilized neurotoxin can comprise biologically active, non-aggregated neurotoxin complexed with at least one type of multivalent metal cation which has a valiancy of +2 or more.

Suitable multivalent metal cations include metal cations contained in biocompatible metal cation components. A metal cation component is biocompatible if the cation component is non-toxic to the recipient, in the quantities used, and also presents no significant deleterious or untoward effects on the recipient's body, such as an immunological reaction at the injection site.

Preferably, the molar ratio of metal cation component to neurotoxin, for the metal cation stabilizing the neurotoxin, is between about 4:1 to about 100:1 and more typically about 4:1 to about 10:1.

A preferred metal cation used to stabilize a botulinum toxin is Zn++ because the botulinum toxin are known to be zinc endopeptidases. Divalent zinc cations are preferred because botulinum toxin is known to be a divalent zinc endopeptidase. In a more preferred embodiment, the molar ratio of metal cation component, containing Zn++ cations, to neurotoxin is about 6:1.

The suitability of a metal cation for stabilizing neurotoxin can be determined by one of ordinary skill in the art by performing a variety of stability indicating techniques such as polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, isoelectric focusing, reverse phase chromatography, HPLC and potency tests on neurotoxin lyophilized particles containing metal cations to determine the potency of the neurotoxin after lyophilization and for the duration of release from microparticles. In stabilized neurotoxin, the tendency of neurotoxin to aggregate within a microparticle during hydration in vivo and/or to lose biological activity or potency due to hydration or due to the process of forming a controlled release composition, or due to the chemical characteristics of a controlled release composition, is reduced by complexing at least one type of metal cation with neurotoxin prior to contacting the neurotoxin with a polymer solution.

By the present invention, stabilized neurotoxin is stabilized against significant aggregation in vivo over the controlled release period. Significant aggregation is defined as an amount of aggregation resulting in aggregation of about 15% or more of the polymer encapsulated or polymer matrix incorporated neurotoxin. Preferably, aggregation is maintained below about 5% of the neurotoxin. More preferably, aggregation is maintained below about 2% of the neurotoxin present in the polymer.

In another embodiment, a neurotoxin controlled release composition also contains a second metal cation component, which is not contained in the stabilized neurotoxin particles, and which is dispersed within the polymer. The second metal cation component preferably contains the same species of metal cation, as is contained in the stabilized neurotoxin. Altemately, the second metal cation component can contain one or more different species of metal cation.

The second metal cation component acts to modulate the release of the neurotoxin from the polymeric matrix of the controlled release composition, such as by acting as a reservoir of metal cations to further lengthen the period of time over which the neurotoxin is stabilized by a metal cation to enhance the stability of neurotoxin in the composition.

A metal cation component used in modulating release typically contains at least one type of multivalent metal cation. Examples of second metal cation components suitable to modulate neurotoxin release, include, or contain, for instance, Mg(OH)2, MgCO3 (such as 4MgCO3 Mg(OH)2 5H2 O), ZnCO3 (such as 3Zn(OH)2 2ZnCO3), CaCO3, Zn3 (C6 H5 O7)2, Mg(OAc)2, MgSO4, Zn(OAc)2, ZnSO4, ZnCl2, MgCl2 and Mg3 (C6 H5 O7)2. A suitable ratio of second metal cation component-to-polymer is between about 1:99 to about 1:2 by weight. The optimum ratio depends upon the polymer and the second metal cation component utilized.

The neurotoxin controlled release composition of this invention can be formed into many shapes such as a film, a pellet, a cylinder, a disc or a microsphere. A microsphere, as defined herein, comprises a polymeric component having a diameter of less than about one millimeter and having stabilized neurotoxin dispersed therein. A microsphere can have a spherical, non-spherical or irregular shape. It is preferred that a microsphere be spherical in shape. Typically, the microsphere will be of a size suitable for injection. A preferred size range for microspheres is from about 1 to about 180 microns in diameter.

In the method of this invention for forming a composition for the controlled release of biologically active, non-aggregated neurotoxin, a suitable amount of particles of biologically active, stabilized neurotoxin are dispersed in a polymer solution.

A suitable polymer solvent, as defined herein, is solvent in which the polymer is soluble but in which the stabilized neurotoxin is are substantially insoluble and non-reactive. Examples of suitable polymer solvents include polar organic liquids, such as methylene chloride, chloroform, ethyl acetate and acetone.

To prepare biologically active, stabilized neurotoxin, neurotoxin is mixed in a suitable aqueous solvent with at least one suitable metal cation component under pH conditions suitable for forming a complex of metal cation and neurotoxin. Typically, the complexed neurotoxin will be in the form of a cloudy precipitate, which is suspended in the solvent. However, the complexed neurotoxin can also be in solution. In an even more preferred embodiment, neurotoxin is complexed with Zn++.

Suitable pH conditions to form a complex of neurotoxin typically include pH values between about 5.0 and about 6.9. Suitable pH conditions are typically achieved through use of an aqueous buffer, such as sodium bicarbonate, as the solvent.

Suitable solvents are those in which the neurotoxin and the metal cation component are each at least slightly soluble, such as in an aqueous sodium bicarbonate buffer. For aqueous solvents, it is preferred that water used be either deionized water or water-for-injection (WFI).

The neurotoxin can be in a solid or a dissolved state, prior to being contacted with the metal cation component. Additionally, the metal cation component can be in a solid or a dissolved state, prior to being contacted with the neurotoxin. In a preferred embodiment, a buffered aqueous solution of neurotoxin is mixed with an aqueous solution of the metal cation component.

Typically, the complexed neurotoxin will be in the form of a cloudy precipitate, which is suspended in the solvent. However, the complexed neurotoxin can also be in solution. In a preferred embodiment, the neurotoxin is complexed with Zn++.

The Zn++ complexed neurotoxin can then be dried, such as by lyophilization, to form particulates of stabilized neurotoxin. The Zn++ complexed neurotoxin, which is suspended or in solution, can be bulk lyophHized or can be divided into smaller volumes which are then lyophilized. In a preferred embodiment, the Zn++ complexed neurotoxin suspension is micronized, such as by use of an ultrasonic nozzle, and then lyophilized to form stabilized neurotoxin particles. Acceptable means to lyophilize the Zn++ complexed neurotoxin mixture include those known in the art.

In another embodiment, a second metal cation component, which is not contained in the stabilized neurotoxin particles, is also dispersed within the polymer solution.

It is understood that a second metal cation component and stabilized neurotoxin can be dispersed into a polymer solution sequentially, in reverse order, intermittently, separately or through concurrent additions. Alternately, a polymer, a second metal cation component and stabilized neurotoxin and can be mixed into a polymer solvent sequentially, in reverse order, intermittently, separately or through concurrent additions. In this method, the polymer solvent is then solidified to form a polymeric matrix containing a dispersion of stabilized neurotoxins.

A suitable method for forming an neurotoxin controlled release composition from a polymer solution is the solvent evaporation method is described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,737,337;3,523,906;3,691,090, and; 4,389,330. Solvent evaporation can be used as a method to form neurotoxin controlled release microparticles.

In the solvent evaporation method, a polymer solution containing a stabilized neurotoxin particle dispersion, is mixed in or agitated with a continuous phase; in which the polymer solvent is partially miscible, to form an emulsion. The continuous phase is usually an aqueous solvent. Emulsifiers are often included in the continuous phase to stabilize the emulsion. The polymer solvent is then evaporated over a period of several hours or more, thereby solidifying the polymer to form a polymeric matrix having a dispersion of stabilized neurotoxin particles contained therein.

A preferred method for forming neurotoxin controlled release microspheres from a polymer solution is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,019,400. This method of microsphere formation, as compared to other methods, such as phase separation, additionally reduces the amount of neurotoxin required to produce a controlled release composition with a specific neurotoxin content.

In this method, the polymer solution, containing the stabilized neurotoxin dispersion, is processed to create droplets, wherein at least a significant portion of the droplets contain polymer solution and the stabilized neurotoxin. These droplets are then frozen by means suitable to form microspheres. Examples of means for processing the polymer solution dispersion to form droplets include directing the dispersion through an ultrasonic nozzle, pressure nozzle, Rayleigh jet, or by other known means for creating droplets from a solution.

The solvent in the frozen microdroplets is extracted as a solid and/or liquid into the non-solvent to form stabilized neurotoxin containing microspheres. Mixing ethanol with. other non-solvents, such as hexane or pentane, can increase the rate of solvent extraction, above that achieved by ethanol alone, from certain polymers, such as poly(lactide-co-glycolide) polymers.

Yet another method of forming a neurotoxin implant, from a polymer solution, includes film casting, such as in a mold, to form a film or a shape. For instance, after putting the polymer solution containing a dispersion of stabilized neurotoxin into a mold, the polymer solvent is then removed by means known in the art, or the temperature of the polymer solution is reduced, until a film or shape, with a consistent dry weight, is obtained.

In the case of a biodegradable polymer implant, release of neurotoxin due to degradation of the polymer. The rate of degradation can be controlled by changing polymer properties that influence the rate of hydration of the polymer. These properties include, for instance, the ratio of different monomers, such as lactide and glycolide, comprising a polymer; the use of the L-isomer of a monomer instead of a racemic mixture; and the molecular weight of the polymer. These properties can affect hydrophilicity and crystallinity, which control the rate of hydration of the polymer. Hydrophilic excipients such as salts, carbohydrates and surfactants can also be incorporated to increase hydration and which can alter the rate of erosion of the polymer.

By altering the properties of a biodegradable polymer, the contributions of diffusion and/or polymer degradation to neurotoxin release can be controlled. For example, increasing the glycolide content of a poly(lactide-co-glycolide) polymer and decreasing the molecular weight of the polymer can enhance the hydrolysis of the polymer and thus, provides an increased neurotoxin release from polymer erosion. In addition, the rate of polymer hydrolysis is increased in non-neutral pH's. Therefore, an acidic or a basic excipient can be added to the polymer solution, used to form the microsphere, to alter the polymer erosion rate.

An implant within the scope of the present invention can be administered to a human, or other animal, by any non-systemic means of administration, such as by implantation (e.g. subcutaneously, intramuscularly, intracranially, intravaginally and intradermally), to provide the desired dosage of neurotoxin based on the known parameters for treatment with neurotoxin of various medical conditions, as previously set forth.

The specific dosage by implant appropriate for administration is readily determined by one of ordinary skill in the art according to the factor discussed above. The dosage can also depend upon the size of the tissue mass to be treated or denervated, and the commercial preparation of the toxin. Additionally, the estimates for appropriate dosages in humans can be extrapolated from determinations of the amounts of botulinum required for effective denervation of other tissues. Thus, the amount of botulinum A to be injected is proportional to the mass and level of activity of the tissue to be treated. Generally, between about 0.01 units per kilogram to about 35 units per kg of patient weight of a botulinum toxin, such as botulinum toxin type A, can be released by the present implant per unit time period (i.e. over a period of or once every 2-4 months) to effectively accomplish a desired muscle paralysis. Less than about 0.01 U/kg of a botulinum toxin does not have a significant therapeutic effect upon a muscle, while more than about 35 U/kg of a botulinum toxin approaches a toxic dose of a neurotoxin, such as a botulinum toxin type A. Careful preparation and placement of the implant prevents significant amounts of a botulinum toxin from appearing systemically. A more preferred dose range is from about 0.01 U/kg to about 25 U/kg of a botulinum toxin, such as that formulated as BOTOX.RTM.. The actual amount of U/kg of a botulinum toxin to be administered depends upon factors such as the extent (mass) and level of activity of the tissue to be treated and the administration route chosen. Botulinum toxin type A is a preferred botulinum toxin serotype for use in the methods of the present invention.

Preferably, a neurotoxin used to practice a method within the scope of the present invention is a botulinum toxin, such as one of the serotype A, B, C, D, E, F or G botulinum toxins. Preferably, the botulinum toxin used is botulinum toxin type A, because of its high potency in humans, ready availability, and known safe and efficacious use for the treatment of skeletal muscle and smooth muscle disorders when locally administered by intramuscular injection.

The present invention includes within its scope the use of any neurotoxin which has a long duration therapeutic effect when used to treat a movement disorder or an affliction influenced by cholinergic innervation. For example, neurotoxins made by any of the species of the toxin producing Clostridium bacteria, such as Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium butyricum, and Clostridium beratti can be used or adapted for use in the methods of the present invention. Additionally, all of the botulinum serotypes A, B, C, D, E, F and G can be advantageously used in the practice of the present invention, although type A is the most preferred serotype, as explained above. Practice of the present invention can provide effective relief for from 1 month to about 5 or 6 years.

The present invention includes within its scope: (a) neurotoxin complex as well as pure neurotoxin obtained or processed by bacterial culturing, toxin extraction, concentration, preservation, freeze drying and/or reconstitution and; (b) modified or recombinant neurotoxin, that is neurotoxin that has had one or more amino acids or amino acid sequences deliberately deleted, modified or replaced by known chemicalbiochemical amino acid modification procedures or by use of known host cell/recombinant vector recombinant technologies, as well as derivatives or fragments of neurotoxins so made, and includes neurotoxins with one or more attached targeting moieties for a cell surface receptor present on a cell.

Botulinum toxins for use according to the present invention can be stored in lyophilized or vacuum dried form in containers under vacuum pressure. Prior to lyophilization the botulinum toxin can be combined with pharmaceutically acceptable excipients, stabilizers and/or carriers, such as albumin. The lyophilized or vacuum dried material can be reconstituted with saline or water.

The present invention also includes within its scope the use of an implanted controlled release neurotoxin complex so as to provide therapeutic relief from a chronic disorder such as movement disorder. Thus, the neurotoxin can be imbedded within, absorbed, or carried by a suitable polymer matrix which can be implanted or embedded subdermally so as to provide a year or more of delayed and controlled release of the neurotoxin to the desired target tissue. Implantable polymers which permit controlled release of polypeptide drugs are known, and can be used to prepare a botulinum toxin implant suitable for insertion or subdermal attachment. See e.g. Pain 1999;82(1):49-55; Biomaterials 1994;15(5):383-9; Brain Res 1990;515(1-2):309-11 and U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,022,554; 6,011,011; 6,007,843; 5,667,808, and 5,980,945.

Methods for determining the appropriate route of administration and dosage are generally determined on a case by case basis by the attending physician. Such determinations are routine to one of ordinary skill in the art (see for example, Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine (1998), edited by Anthony Fauci et al., 14th edition, published by McGraw Hill). Thus, an implant within the scope of the present invention can be surgically inserted by incision t the site of desired effect (i.e. for reduction of a muscle spasm) or the implant can be administered as a suspension, subcutaneously or intramuscularly using a hollow needle implanting gun, for example of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,474,572. The diameter of the needle may be adjusted to correspond to the size of the implant used. Further, an implant within the scope of the present invention can be implanted intracranially so as to provide long term delivery of a therapeutic amount of a neurotoxin to a target brain tissue. Removal of a non-biodegradable implant within the scope of the present invention is not essential once all neurotoxin has been released due to the biocompatible, nonimmunogenic nature of the implant materials used.

It is known that a significant water content of lyophilized tetanus toxoid can cause solid phase aggregation and inactivation of the toxoid once encapsulated within microspheres. Thus, with a 10% (grams of water per 100 grams of protein) tetanus toxoid water content about 25% of the toxin undergoes aggregation, while with a 5% water content only about 5% of the toxoid aggregates. See e.g. Pages 251, Schwendeman S. P. et al., Peptide, Protein, and Vaccine Deliveiy From Implantable Polymeric Systems, chapter 12 (pages 229-267) of Park K., Controlled Drug Delivery Challenges and Strategies, American Chemical Society (1997). Significantly, the manufacturing process for BOTOX.RTM. results in a freeze dried botulinum toxin type A complex which has a moisture content of less than about 3%, at which moisture level nominal solid phase aggregation can be expected.

A general procedure for making a pulsatile, biodegradable botulinum toxin implant is as follows. The implant can comprise from about 25% to about 100% of a polylactide which is a polymer of lactic acid alone. Increasing the amount of lactide in the implant can increases the period of time before which the implant begins to biodegrade, and hence increase the time to pulsatile release of the botulinum toxin from the implant. The implant can also be a copolymer of lactic acid and glycolic acid. The lactic acid can be either in racemic or in optically active form, and can be either soluble in benzene and having an inherent viscosity of from 0.093 (1 g. per 100 ml. in chloroform) to 0.5 (1 g. per 100 ml. in benzene), or insoluble in benzene and having an inherent viscosity of from 0.093 (1 g. per 100 ml in chloroform) to 4 (1 g. per 100 ml in chloroform or dioxin). The implant can also comprise from 0.001% to 50% of a botulinum toxin uniformly dispersed in carrier polymer.

Once implanted the implant begins to absorb water and exhibits two successive and generally distinct phases of neurotoxin release. In the first phase neurotoxin is released through by initial diffusion through aqueous neurotoxin regions which communicate with the exterior surface of the implant. The second phase occurs upon release of neurotoxin consequent to degradation of the biodegradable polymer (i.e. a polylactide). The diffusion phase and the degradation-induced phase are temporally distinct in time. When the implant is placed in an aqueous physiological environment, water diffuses into the polymeric matrix and is partitioned between neurotoxin and polylactide to form aqueous neurotoxin regions. The aqueous neurotoxin regions increase with increasing absorption of water, until the continuity of the aqueous neurotoxin regions reaches a sufficient level to communicate with the exterior surface of the implant. Thus, neurotoxin starts to be released from the implant by diffusion through aqueous polypeptide channels formed from the aqueous neurotoxin regions, while the second phase continues until substantially all of the remaining neurotoxin has been released.

Also within the scope of the present invention is an implant in the form of a suspension for use by injection, prepared by suspending the neurotoxin encapsulated microspheres in a suitabl liquid, such as physiological saline.

Claim 1 of 20 Claims

I claim:

1. A pulsatile release botulinum toxin delivery system, comprising:

(a) a carrier;

(b) a botulinum toxin associated with the carrier, thereby forming a pulsatile release botulinum toxin delivery system,

wherein therapeutic amounts of the botulinum toxin can be released from the carrier in a plurality of pulses in vivo upon subdermal implantation of the delivery system in a human patient without a significant immune system response and wherein the carrier is comprised of a biodegradable material selected from the group consisting of polymers of poly(lactides), poly(glycolides), collagens, poly(lactide-co-glycolides), poly(lactic acid)s, poly(glycolic acid)s, poly(lactic acid-co-glycolic acid)s, polycaprolactone, polycarbonates, polyesteramides, polyanhydrides, poly(amino acids), polyorthoesters, polycyanoacrylates, poly(p-dioxanone), poly(alkylene oxalates), biodegradable polyurethanes, blends and copolymers thereof.
 


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