Perazzolo S, Shireman LM, McConnachie LA, Koehn J, Kinman L, Lee W, Lane S, Collier AC, Shen DD, Ho RJY. Integration of Computational and Experimental Approaches to Elucidate Mechanisms of First-Pass Lymphatic Drug Sequestration and Long-Acting Pharmacokinetics of the Injectable Triple-HIV Drug Combination TLC-ART 101. J Pharm Sci. 2020 May;109(5):1789-1801. doi: 10.1016/j.xphs.2020.01.016. Epub 2020 Jan 29. PMID: 32006525.
TLC-ART101 is a long-acting triple-HIV drug combination of lopinavir-ritonavir-tenofovir in one nanosuspension intended for subcutaneous injection. After a single TLC-ART 101 administration in nonhuman primates, drug concentrations in both plasma and HIV-target lymph node mononuclear cells were sustained for 2 weeks. Nevertheless, the mechanisms leading to the targeted long-acting pharmacokinetics remain elusive. Therefore, an intravenous study of TLC-ART 101 in nonhuman primates was conducted to elucidate the degree of association of drugs in vivo, estimate subcutaneous bioavailability, and refine a mechanism-based pharmacokinetic (MBPK2) model. The MBPK2 model considers TLC-ART 101 systemic drug clearances, nanoparticle-associated/dissociated species, more detailed mechanisms of lymphatic first-pass retention of associated-drugs after subcutaneous administrations, and the prediction of drug concentration time-courses in lymph node mononuclear cells. For all 3 drugs, we found a high association with the nanoparticles in plasma (>87% lopinavir-ritonavir, 97% tenofovir), and an incomplete subcutaneous bioavailability (<29% lopinavir-ritonavir, 85% tenofovir). As hypothesized by the MBPK2 model, the incomplete SC bioavailability observed is due to sequestration into a lymphatic node depot after subcutaneous absorption (unlike most intramuscular nanodrug products having near-to-injection depots), which contributes to long-acting profiles detected in plasma and target cells. This combined experimental and modeling approach may be applicable for the clinical development of other long-acting drug-combination injectables.