Physiologically Based Absorption Modeling to Design Extended-Release Clinical Products for an Ester Prodrug
Absorption modeling has demonstrated its great value in modern drug product development due to its utility in understanding and predicting in vivo performance. In this case, we integrated physiologically based modeling in the development processes to effectively design extended-release (ER) clinical products for an ester prodrug LY545694. By simulating the trial results of immediate-release products, we delineated complex pharmacokinetics due to prodrug conversion and established an absorption model to describe the clinical observations. This model suggested the prodrug has optimal biopharmaceutical properties to warrant developing an ER product. Subsequently, we incorporated release profiles of prototype ER tablets into the absorption model to simulate the in vivo performance of these products observed in an exploratory trial. The models suggested that the absorption of these ER tablets was lower than the IR products because the extended release from the formulations prevented the drug from taking advantage of the optimal absorption window. Using these models, we formed a strategy to optimize the ER product to minimize the impact of the absorption window limitation. Accurate prediction of the performance of these optimized products by modeling was confirmed in a third clinical trial.