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Phytochem Anal. 2017 May;28(3):185-194. doi: 10.1002/pca.2659. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Combined Application of UHPLC-QTOF/MS, HPLC-ELSD and 1 H-NMR Spectroscopy for Quality Assessment of DA-9801, A Standardised Dioscorea Extract.

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College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826, Republic of Korea.
Research Planning & Management Department, Dong-A ST Co., Ltd., Yongin, 17073, Republic of Korea.



DA-9801, a standardised 50% aqueous ethanolic extract of a mixture of Dioscorea japonica and D. nipponica, is a botanical drug candidate for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, which finished its US phase II clinical trials recently. An advanced quality control method is needed for further development of DA-9801, considering its high contents of both primary and secondary metabolites.


Development of a quality assessment strategy for DA-9801, based on the combination of UHPLC-QTOF/MS, HPLC-ELSD, and 1 H-NMR spectroscopy.


The method was developed and tested with 15 batch products of DA-9801. The steroidal saponins of DA-9801 were tentatively identified by UHPLC-QTOF/MS and were quantified with the validated HPLC-ELSD method. Primary metabolites of DA-9801 were identified and profiled using 1 H-NMR spectrometry. The batch-to-batch equivalence of DA-9801 was tested with the 1 H-NMR spectra using spectral binning, correlation analysis, and principal component analysis.


Six major saponins of DA-9801 were tentatively identified by UHPLC-QTOF/MS. Among them, protodioscin and dioscin were quantified by the validated HPLC-ELSD method. Twenty-six metabolites were identified in 1 H-NMR spectra. The similarity between DA-9801 batches could be evaluated with the NMR spectra of DA-9801. The 1 H-NMR method also revealed that two Dioscorea species contributed distinct amino acids to the contents of DA-9801.


This study validates the effectiveness of UHPLC-QTOF/MS, HPLC-ELSD, and 1 H NMR-combined method for quality control of DA-9801 and its crude materials. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


1H-NMR spectroscopy; DA-9801; HPLC-ELSD; UHPLC-QTOF/MS; quality assessment

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