Integrating Forward and Reverse Translation in PBPK Modeling to Predict Food Effect on Oral Absorption of Weakly Basic Drugs

Publication: Pharm Res
Software: GastroPlus®
Division: PBPK


Ketoconazole and posaconazole are two weakly basic broad-spectrum antifungals classified as Biopharmaceutics Classification System class II drugs, indicating that they are highly permeable, but exhibit poor solubility. As a result, oral bioavailability and clinical efficacy can be impacted by the formulation performance in the gastrointestinal system. In this work, we have leveraged in vitro biopharmaceutics and clinical data available in the literature to build physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models for ketoconazole and posaconazole, to determine the suitability of forward in vitro-in vivo translation for characterization of in vivo drug precipitation, and to predict food effect.

A stepwise modeling approach was utilized to derive key parameters related to absorption, such as drug solubility, dissolution, and precipitation kinetics from in vitro data. These parameters were then integrated into PBPK models for the simulation of ketoconazole and posaconazole plasma concentrations in the fasted and fed states.

Forward in vitro-in vivo translation of intestinal precipitation kinetics for both model drugs resulted in poor predictions of PK profiles. Therefore, a reverse translation approach was applied, based on limited fitting of precipitation-related parameters to clinical data. Subsequent simulations for ketoconazole and posaconazole demonstrated that fasted and fed state PK profiles for both drugs were adequately recapitulated.

The two examples presented in this paper show how middle-out modeling approaches can be used to predict the magnitude and direction of food effects provided the model is verified on fasted state PK data.

By Yesenia L. Franco, Lais Da Silva, Nitin Charbe, Hannah Kinvig, Soyoung Kim & Rodrigo Cristofoletti