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Biometals. 2015 Aug;28(4):615-35. doi: 10.1007/s10534-015-9845-9. Epub 2015 Mar 24.

Physico-chemical properties of the new generation IV iron preparations ferumoxytol, iron isomaltoside 1000 and ferric carboxymaltose.

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Chemical and Preclinical Research and Development, Vifor (International) Ltd., St. Gallen, Switzerland.


The advantage of the new generation IV iron preparations ferric carboxymaltose (FCM), ferumoxytol (FMX), and iron isomaltoside 1000 (IIM) is that they can be administered in relatively high doses in a short period of time. We investigated the physico-chemical properties of these preparations and compared them with those of the older preparations iron sucrose (IS), sodium ferric gluconate (SFG), and low molecular weight iron dextran (LMWID). Mössbauer spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Fe K-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy indicated akaganeite structures (β-FeOOH) for the cores of FCM, IIM and IS, and a maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) structure for that of FMX. Nuclear magnetic resonance studies confirmed the structure of the carbohydrate of FMX as a reduced, carboxymethylated, low molecular weight dextran, and that of IIM as a reduced Dextran 1000. Polarography yielded significantly different fingerprints of the investigated compounds. Reductive degradation kinetics of FMX was faster than that of FCM and IIM, which is in contrast to the high stability of FMX towards acid degradation. The labile iron content, i.e. the amount of iron that is only weakly bound in the polynuclear iron core, was assessed by a qualitative test that confirmed decreasing labile iron contents in the order SFG ≈ IS > LMWID ≥ FMX ≈ IIM ≈ FCM. The presented data are a step forward in the characterization of these non-biological complex drugs, which is a prerequisite to understand their cellular uptake mechanisms and the relationship between the structure and physiological safety as well as efficacy of these complexes.

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