Using Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Modeling to Evaluate the Impact of Pharmaceutical Excipients on Oral Drug Absorption: Sensitivity Analyses

Publication: AAPS J


Drug solubility, effective permeability, and intestinal metabolism and transport are parameters that govern intestinal bioavailability and oral absorption. However, excipients may affect the systemic bioavailability of a drug by altering these parameters. Thus, parameter sensitivity analyses using physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models were performed to examine the potential impact of excipients on oral drug absorption of different Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) class drugs. The simulation results showed that changes in solubility had minimal impact on Cmax and AUC0-t of investigated BCS class 1 and 3 drugs. Changes in passive permeability altered Cmax more than AUC0-t for BCS class 1 drugs but were variable and drug-specific across different BCS class 2 and 3 drugs. Depending on the drug compounds for BCS class 1 and 2 drugs, changes in intestinal metabolic activity altered Cmax and AUC0-t. Reducing or increasing influx and efflux transporter activity might likely affect Cmax and AUC0-t of BCS class 2 and 3 drugs, but the magnitude may be drug dependent. Changes in passive permeability and/or transporter activity for BCS class 2 and 3 drugs might also have a significant impact on fraction absorbed and systemic bioavailability while changes in intestinal metabolic activity may have an impact on gut and systemic bioavailability. Overall, we demonstrate that PBPK modeling can be used routinely to examine sensitivity of bioavailability based on physiochemical and physiological factors and subsequently assess whether biowaiver requirements need consideration of excipient effects for immediate release oral solid dosage forms.