2019 Publications


Target site delivery and residence of Nanomedicines: Application of quantitative systems pharmacology

JLS Au, RA Abbiati, MG Wientjes, Z Lu
 Pharmacological Reviews, 2019;

Quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP), an emerging field that entails using modeling and computation to interpret, interrogate, and integrate drug effects spanning from the molecule to the whole organism to forecast treatment outcomes, is expected to enhance the efficiency of drug development. Since late 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has advocated the use of an analogous approach of model-informed drug development. This review focuses on issues pertaining to nanosized medicines (NP) and the potential utility of QSP to determine NP delivery and residence at extracellular or intracellular targets in vivo. The kinetic processes governing NP disposition and transport, interactions with biologic matrix components, binding and internalization in cells, and intracellular trafficking are determined, sometimes jointly, by NP properties (e.g., dimension, materials, surface charge and modifications, shape, and geometry) and target tissue properties (e.g., perfusion status, vessel pore size and wall thickness, vessel and cell density, composition of extracellular matrix, and void volume fraction). These various determinants, together with the heterogeneous tissue structures and microenvironment factors in solid tumors, lead to environment-, spatial-, and time-dependent changes in NP concentrations that are difficult to predict. Adding to the complexity is the recent discovery that NP surface-coating protein corona, whose composition depends on NP properties and which undergoes continuous evolution with time and local protein environments, is yet another unpredictable variable. Examples are provided to demonstrate the potential utility of QSP-based multiscale modeling to capture the physicochemical and biologic processes in equations to enable computational studies of the key kinetic processes in cancer treatments.



Systemic Bioequivalence Is Unlikely to Equal Target Site Bioequivalence for Nanotechnology Oncologic Products

JLS Au, Z Lu, RA Abbiati, MG Wientjes
 AAPS Journal, 2019;21(2):24

Approval of generic drugs by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires the product to be pharmaceutically equivalent to the reference listed drug (RLD) and demonstrate bioequivalence (BE) in effectiveness when administered to patients under the conditions in the RLD product labeling. Effectiveness is determined by drug exposure at the target sites. However, since such measurement is usually unavailable, systemic exposure is assumed to equal target site exposure and systemic BE to equal target site BE. This assumption, while it often applies to small molecule drug products that are readily dissolved in biological fluids and systemically absorbed, is unlikely to apply to nanotechnology products (NP) that exist as heterogeneous systems and are subjected to dimension- and material-dependent changes. This commentary provides an overview of the intersecting and spatial-dependent processes and variables governing the delivery and residence of oncologic NP in solid tumors. In order to provide a quantitative perspective of the collective effects of these processes, we used quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) multi-scale modeling to capture the physicochemical and biological events on several scales (whole-body, organ/suborgan, cell/subcellular, spatial locations, time). QSP is an emerging field that entails using modeling and computation to facilitate drug development; an analogous approach (i.e., model-informed drug development) is advocated by to FDA. The QSP model-based simulations illustrated that small changes in NP attributes (e.g., size variations during manufacturing, interactions with proteins in biological milieu) could lead to disproportionately large differences in target site exposure, rendering systemic BE unlikely to equal target site BE.