2006 - Brugge/Bruges - Belgium

PAGE 2006: Methodology- Design
Stefanie Hennig

A D-optimal designed population pharmacokinetic study of itraconazole capsules and solution in adults with cystic fibrosis

Hennig, S. (1,2), Waterhouse T.(1) Wainwright C.(3), Bell S.(4), Miller H. (2), Charles B.(1) and Duffull S.(1)

(1) School of Pharmacy, University of Queensland, (2) Pharmacy Department, Royal Children’s Hospital, (3) Respiratory Department, Royal Children’s Hospital, (4) Thoracic Medicine, The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.

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Background: Oral itraconazole (ITRA) is used for the treatment of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) because of its antifungal activity against Aspergillus species. ITRA has an active hydroxy-metabolite (OH-ITRA) which has similar antifungal activity. ITRA is a highly lipophilic drug which is available in two different oral formulations, a capsule and an oral solution. It is reported that the oral solution has a 60% higher relative bioavailability. The influence of altered gastric physiology associated with CF on the pharmacokinetics (PK) of ITRA and its metabolite has not been previously evaluated.

Objectives: 1) To estimate the population (pop) PK parameters for ITRA and its active metabolite OH-ITRA including relative bioavailability of the parent after administration of the parent by both capsule and solution and 2) to assess the performance of the optimal design.

Methods: The study was a cross-over design in which 30 patients received the capsule on the first occasion and 3 days later the solution formulation. The design was constrained to have a maximum of 4 blood samples per occasion for estimation of the popPK of both ITRA and OH-ITRA. The sampling times for the population model were optimized previously using POPT v.2.0.[1] POPT is a series of applications that run under MATLAB and provide an evaluation of the information matrix for a nonlinear mixed effects model given a particular design. In addition it can be used to optimize the design based on evaluation of the determinant of the information matrix. The model details for the design were based on prior information obtained from the literature, which suggested that ITRA may have either linear or non-linear elimination. The optimal sampling times were evaluated to provide information for both competing models for the parent and metabolite and for both capsule and solution simultaneously. Blood samples were assayed by validated HPLC.[2]

PopPK modelling was performed using FOCE with interaction under NONMEM, version 5 (level 1.1; GloboMax LLC, Hanover, MD, USA). The PK of ITRA and OH‑ITRA was modelled simultaneously using ADVAN 5. Subsequently three methods were assessed for modelling concentrations less than the LOD (limit of detection). These methods (corresponding to methods 5, 6 & 4 from Beal[3], respectively) were (a) where all values less than LOD were assigned to half of LOD, (b) where the closest missing value that is less than LOD was assigned to half the LOD and all previous (if during absorption) or subsequent (if during elimination) missing samples were deleted, and (c) where the contribution of the expectation of each missing concentration to the likelihood is estimated. The LOD was 0.04 mg/L.

The final model evaluation was performed via bootstrap with re-sampling and a visual predictive check. The optimal design and the sampling windows of the study were evaluated for execution errors and for agreement between the observed and predicted standard errors. Dosing regimens were simulated for the capsules and the oral solution to assess their ability to achieve ITRA target trough concentration (Cmin,ss of 0.5-2 mg/L) or a combined Cmin,ss for ITRA and OH-ITRA above 1.5mg/L.

Results and Discussion: A total of 241 blood samples were collected and analysed, 94% of them were taken within the defined optimal sampling windows, of which 31% where taken within 5 min of the exact optimal times. Forty six per cent of the ITRA values and 28% of the OH-ITRA values were below LOD. The entire profile after administration of the capsule for five patients was below LOD and therefore the data from this occasion was omitted from estimation.

A 2-compartment model with 1st order absorption and elimination best described ITRA PK, with 1st order metabolism of the parent to OH-ITRA. For ITRA the clearance (ClItra/F) was 31.5 L/h; apparent volumes of central and peripheral compartments were 56.7 L and 2090 L, respectively. Absorption rate constants for capsule (kacap) and solution (kasol) were 0.0315 h-1 and 0.125 h-1, respectively. Comparative bioavailability of the capsule was 0.82. There was no evidence of nonlinearity in the popPK of ITRA. No screened covariate significantly improved the fit to the data.

The results of the parameter estimates from the final model were comparable between the different methods for accounting for missing data, (M4,5,6)[3] and provided similar parameter estimates.

The prospective application of an optimal design was found to be successful. Due to the sampling windows, most of the samples could be collected within the daily hospital routine, but still at times that were near optimal for estimating the popPK parameters. The final model was one of the potential competing models considered in the original design. The asymptotic standard errors provided by NONMEM for the final model and empirical values from bootstrap were similar in magnitude to those predicted from the Fisher Information matrix associated with the D-optimal design.

Simulations from the final model showed that the current dosing regimen of 200 mg twice daily (bd) would provide a target Cmin,ss (0.5-2 mg/L) for only 35% of patients when administered as the solution and 31% when administered as capsules. The optimal dosing schedule was 500mg bd for both formulations. The target success for this dosing regimen was 87% for the solution with an NNT=4 compared to capsules. This means, for every 4 patients treated with the solution one additional patient will achieve a target success compared to capsule but at an additional cost of AUD $220 per day. The therapeutic target however is still doubtful and potential risks of these dosing schedules need to be assessed on an individual basis.

Conclusion: A model was developed which described the popPK of ITRA and its main active metabolite OH-ITRA in adult CF after administration of both capsule and solution. The relative bioavailability of ITRA from the capsule was 82% that of the solution, but considerably more variable. To incorporate missing data, using the simple Beal method 5 (using half LOD for all samples below LOD) provided comparable results to the more complex but theoretically better Beal method 4 (integration method). The optimal sparse design performed well for estimation of model parameters and provided a good fit to the data.

1. Waterhouse TH, Redmann S, Duffull SB, Eccleston JA. Optimal design for model discrimination and parameter estimation for itraconazole population pharmacokinetics in cystic fibrosis patients. J Pharmacokinet Pharmacodyn 2005;32(3-4):521-45.
2. Redmann S, Charles BG. A rapid HPLC method with fluorometric detection for determination of plasma itraconazole and hydroxy-itraconazole concentrations in cystic fibrosis children with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Biomed Chromatogr 2005 (published online).
3. Beal SL. Ways to fit a PK model with some data below the quantification limit. J Pharmacokinet Pharmacodyn 2001;28(5):481-504.

Reference: PAGE 15 (2006) Abstr 884 [www.page-meeting.org/?abstract=884]
Poster: Methodology- Design