Impact of Intracellular Concentrations on Metabolic Drug-Drug Interaction Studies

Publication: AAPS J
Software: ADMET Predictor®


Accurate prediction of drug-drug interactions (DDI) is a challenging task in drug discovery and development. It requires determination of enzyme inhibition in vitro which is highly system-dependent for many compounds. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the determination of intracellular unbound concentrations in primary human hepatocytes can be used to bridge discrepancies between results obtained using human liver microsomes and hepatocytes. Specifically, we investigated if Kpuu could reconcile differences in CYP enzyme inhibition values (Ki or IC50). Firstly, our methodology for determination of Kpuu was optimized for human hepatocytes, using four well-studied reference compounds. Secondly, the methodology was applied to a series of structurally related CYP2C9 inhibitors from a Roche discovery project. Lastly, the Kpuu values of three commonly used CYP3A4 inhibitors—ketoconazole, itraconazole, and posaconazole—were determined and compared to compound-specific hepatic enrichment factors obtained from physiologically based modeling of clinical DDI studies with these three compounds. Kpuu obtained in suspended human hepatocytes gave good predictions of system-dependent differences in vitro. The Kpuu was also in fair agreement with the compound-specific hepatic enrichment factors in DDI models and can therefore be used to improve estimations of enrichment factors in physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling.