282. Pharmaceutical Analysis by NMR Can Accommodate Strict Impurity Thresholds: The Case of Choline

Prabhakar S. Achanta, Matthias Niemitz, J. Brent Friesen, Fatkhulla K. Tadjimukhamedov, Anton Bzhelyansky, Gabriel I. Giancaspro, Shao-Nong Chen and Guido F. Pauli; Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis; (2022); DOI: 10.1016/j.jpba.2022.114709 (open access)

The ICH guidelines recommend reporting thresholds for regular impurities in drug substances at the level of 0.05% or 0.03% (w/w) depending on the maximum daily intake. Therefore, any instrumental method of analysis applicable to the impurity analysis should be able to detect and quantify the analytes at those levels. This investigation was designed to verify the suitability of 1H NMR spectroscopy for the detection of impurities, as a first step in the process before attempting quantification. In order to minimize demand on equipment, this study employed a 400 MHz instrument for structural confirmation and signal assignments of choline (1) and O-(2-hydroxyethyl)choline (2), a known impurity. The limit of detection (LOD) of 2 in 10 mg of 1 was established as 0.01% on a 400 MHz instrument and 2% on a 60 MHz (benchtop) NMR spectrometer, respectively. Thus, impurities for which quantification is required are readily detected at 400 MHz or above. These results are in contrast to the widespread belief that 1H NMR sensitivity is insufficient for pharmaceutical impurity analysis. Further, our experiments revealed that as low as. The choice of solvent was recognized as a critical parameter for 1H NMR LOD analysis. Furthermore, publicly available NMR raw data (HMDB) proved to be valuable for unveiling the otherwise cryptic information hidden in complex signal patterns via 1H NMR iterative Full Spin Analysis. Finally, the study uncovered the less noticed, yet characteristic, 14N-1H coupling in the -N+(CH3)3 groups, adding further strong arguments for the Raw NMR Data Initiative. Collectively, the data prove that the analytical capabilities of high-field NMR easily fulfill the ICH requirements for detection of impurity analysis. This study explores the potential of 1H NMR spectroscopy to detect an impurity in the presence of an actual substance of interest which makes it a step closer to achieving regulatory standards.