A Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Study to Assess the Adjuvanticity of Three Peptides in an Oral Vaccine

Publication: Pharmaceutics
Software: GastroPlus®


Following up on the first PBPK model for an oral vaccine built for alpha-tocopherol, three peptides are explored in this article to verify if they could support an oral vaccine formulation as adjuvants using the same PBPK modeling approach. A literature review was conducted to verify what peptides have been used as adjuvants in the last decades, and it was noticed that MDP derivatives have been used, with one of them even being commercially approved and used as an adjuvant when administered intravenously in oncology. The aim of this study was to build optimized models for three MDP peptides (MDP itself, MTP-PE, and murabutide) and to verify if they could act as adjuvants for an oral vaccine. Challenges faced by peptides in an oral delivery system are taken into consideration, and improvements to the formulations to achieve better results are described in a step-wise approach to reach the most-optimized model. Once simulations are performed, results are compared to determine what would be the best peptide to support as an oral adjuvant. According to our results, MTP-PE, the currently approved and commercialized peptide, could have potential to be incorporated into an oral formulation. It would be interesting to proceed with further in vivo experiments to determine the behavior of this peptide when administered orally with a proper formulation to overcome the challenges of oral delivery systems.
By Leonor Saldanha, Ülo Langel and Nuno Vale