Inter-compound and Intra-compound Global Sensitivity Analysis of a Physiological Model for Pulmonary Absorption of Inhaled Compounds

Publication: AAPS J
Software: ADMET Predictor®


In recent years, global sensitivity analysis (GSA) has gained interest in physiologically based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) modelling and simulation from pharmaceutical industry, regulatory authorities, and academia. With the case study of an in-house PBPK model for inhaled compounds in rats, the aim of this work is to show how GSA can contribute in PBPK model development and daily use. We identified two types of GSA that differ in the aims and, thus, in the parameter variability: inter-compound and intra-compound GSA. The inter-compound GSA aims to understand which are the parameters that mostly influence the variability of the metrics of interest in the whole space of the drugs’ properties, and thus, it is useful during the model development. On the other hand, the intra-compound GSA aims to highlight how much the uncertainty associated with the parameters of a given drug impacts the uncertainty in the model prediction and so, it is useful during routine PBPK use. In this work, inter-compound GSA highlighted that dissolution- and formulation-related parameters were mostly important for the prediction of the fraction absorbed, while the permeability is the most important parameter for lung AUC and MRT. Intra-compound GSA highlighted that, for all the considered compounds, the permeability was one of the most important parameters for lung AUC, MRT and plasma MRT, while the extraction ratio and the dose for the plasma AUC. GSA is a crucial instrument for the quality assessment of model-based inference; for this reason, we suggest its use during both PBPK model development and use.

By Nicola Melillo, Silvia Grandoni, Nicola Cesari, Giandomenico Brogin, Paola Puccini & Paolo Magni