Pharmacokinetics and variability of mycophenolic acid from enteric-coated mycophenolate sodium compared with mycophenolate mofetil in de novo heart transplant recipients

Manfred Hummel, Nizar Yonan, Heather Ross, Leslie W Miller, Romain Sechaud, Sebastien Balez, Ernst Ulrich Koelle, Gino Gerosa
Clinical Transplantation 2007, 21 (1): 18-23
Sequential pharmacokinetic assessments were performed at five centers within the context of a multicenter, single-blind, randomized clinical trial comparing the efficacy and safety of enteric-coated mycophenolate sodium (EC-MPS, myfortic) and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF, CellCept) in de novo heart transplant recipients. Patients were randomized to either EC-MPS 1080 mg bid or MMF 1500 mg bid, as part of a triple immunosuppressive therapy including cyclosporine microemulsion. Steady-state pharmacokinetic profiles of mycophenolic acid (MPA) and its inactive phenolic glucuronide (MPAG) were assessed at weeks 2, 12, and 52. Pharmacokinetic parameters were evaluated in 32 patients (17 on EC-MPS and 15 on MMF). Dose-normalized peak (C(max,ss)) and area under the curve (AUC(tau,ss)) of MPA and MPAG increased between week 2 and week 12 assessments for both treatments. Comparisons between EC-MPS and MMF showed no statistically significant differences in MPA and MPAG AUC(tau,ss), C(max,ss), and trough (C(min,ss)) values (p-values ranged from 0.225 to 0.990). Consistent with the delayed release characteristics of EC-MPS, C(max,ss) occurred approximately one hour later compared with MMF. Inter-subject coefficients of variation (%CV) for MPA pharmacokinetic parameters of both EC-MPS and MMF were high (37-72% for AUC(tau,ss) at weeks 2 and 12). Also within patients, the pharmacokinetics of MPA varied considerably. Specifically, intra-subject %CVs for MPA AUC(tau,ss), C(max,ss), and C(min,ss) were 28%, 63%, and 34% with EC-MPS and 54%, 139%, and 41% with MMF respectively. These results indicate that a dose of EC-MPS 1080 mg bid in combination with cyclosporine provides adequate systemic MPA exposure in de novo heart transplant patients, comparable with MMF 1500 mg bid. Overall, there is a large inter- and intra-subject variability in MPA pharmacokinetic parameters with both treatments.

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