Evaluating gender effect in the generic bioequivalence studies by physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling – A case study of dextromethorphan modified release tablets

Publication: Biopharm Drug Dispos
Software: GastroPlus®


The United States Food and Drug Administration guidelines for the bioequivalence (BE) testing of the generic drug products suggests that there should be an equal proportion of male and female population in the BE study. Despite this requirement, many generic drug companies do not maintain the suggested proportion of female population in their studies. Several socio-economic and cultural factors lead to lower participation of the females in the BE studies. More recently, the regulatory agencies across the globe are requesting the generic drug companies to demonstrate the performance of their drug products in the under-represented sex via additional studies. In this work, we describe the case of Dextromethorphan modified release tablets where the gender effect on the product performance was evaluated by physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling approach. We have compared the drug product’s performance by population simulations considering four different scenarios. The data from all-male population (from in house Pharmacokinetic [PK] BE studies) was considered as a reference and other scenarios were compared against the all-male population data. In the first scenario, we made a comparison between all-male (100% male) vs all-female (100% female) population. Second scenario was as per agency’s requirements—equal proportion of male and female in the BE study. As an extreme scenario, 100% male vs 30:70 male:female was considered (higher females than males in the BE studies). Finally, as a more realistic scenario, 100% male versus 70:30 male:female was considered (lower females than males in the BE studies). Population PK followed by virtual BE was employed to demonstrate the similarity/differences in the drug product performance between the sexes. This approach can be potentially utilized to seek BE study waivers thus saving cost and accelerating the entry of the generic products to the market.

By Manoj Gundeti, Aditya Murthy, Shubham Jamdade, Tausif Ahmed