Research Article Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Transport and Metabolism| Volume 110, ISSUE 1, P510-516, January 01, 2021

A Simple Decision Tree Suited for Identification of Early Oral Drug Candidates With Likely Pharmacokinetic Nonlinearity by Intestinal CYP3A Saturation

Published:October 30, 2020DOI:


      To identify oral drugs that likely display nonlinear pharmacokinetics due to saturable metabolism by intestinal CYP3A, our previous report using CYP3A substrate drugs proposed an approach using thresholds for the linear index number (LIN3A = dose/Km; Km, Michaelis-Menten constant for CYP3A) and the intestinal availability (FaFg). Here, we aimed to extend the validity of the previous approach using both CYP3A substrate and non-substrate drugs and to devise a decision tree suited for early drug candidates using in vitro metabolic intrinsic clearance (CLint, vitro) instead of FaFg. Out of 152 oral drugs (including 136 drugs approved in Japan, US or both), type I nonlinearity (in which systemic drug exposure increases in a more than dose-proportional manner) was noted with 82 drugs (54%), among which 58 drugs were identified as CYP3A substrates based on public information. Based on practical feasibility, 41 drugs were selected from CYP3A substrates and subjected to in-house metabolic assessment. The results were used to determine the thresholds for CLint, vitro (0.45 μL/min/pmol CYP3A4) and LIN3A (1.0 L). For four drugs incorrectly predicted, potential mechanisms were looked up. Overall, our proposed decision tree may aid in the identification of early drug candidates with intestinal CYP3A-derived type I nonlinearity.


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