Linagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor in development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a Phase I, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of single and multiple escalating doses in healthy adult male Japanese subjects

Akiko Sarashina, Shogo Sesoko, Mitsuyoshi Nakashima, Naoyuki Hayashi, Atsushi Taniguchi, Yoshiharu Horie, Eva U Graefe-Mody, Hans-Juergen Woerle, Klaus A Dugi
Clinical Therapeutics 2010, 32 (6): 1188-204

BACKGROUND: The dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor linagliptin is in clinical development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In previous studies in non-Japanese populations, linagliptin showed potential as a once-daily oral antidiabetic drug.

OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of linagliptin in healthy adult male Japanese volunteers, in compliance with Japanese regulatory requirements for new drugs intended for use in humans.

METHODS: This was a Phase I, randomized, doubleblind, placebo-controlled study in healthy volunteers. Linagliptin or placebo was administered as single escalating doses of 1, 2.5, 5, and 10 mg, or as multiple escalating doses of 2.5, 5, and 10 mg once daily for 12 days. Three quarters of subjects in each dose group were randomized to active drug and one quarter to placebo. Blood and urine samples for determination of pharmacokinetic parameters were obtained before administration of the first dose of study drug and at regular time points after administration, with more frequent blood sampling on days 1 and 12 in subjects receiving multiple doses. Inhibition of DPP-4 activity and plasma concentrations of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose were also determined. Tolerability was assessed throughout the study based on physical examinations, 12-lead ECGs, and standard laboratory tests.

RESULTS: Eight subjects were enrolled in each dose group, 6 receiving active drug and 2 receiving placebo. Baseline demographic characteristics were comparable in the single-dose groups (mean [SD] age, 24.5 [3.6] years; mean weight, 61.2 [6.2] kg; mean height, 171.5 [5.3] cm) and multiple-dose groups (mean age, 25.4 [3.7] years; mean weight, 61.6 [5.2] kg; mean height, 170.9 [4.9] cm). Linagliptin displayed nonlinear pharmacokinetics. Total systemic exposure (AUC and C(max)) increased in a manner that was less than dose proportional. T(max) ranged from 1.50 to 6.00 hours, and elimination t((1/2)) ranged from 96.9 to 175.0 hours. Total CL increased with increasing dose (from 140 mL/min in the 1-mg group to 314 mL/min in the 10-mg group), as did apparent V(d) (from 1260 to 3060 L with doses up to 10 mg). Steady state was attained within 2 to 3 days. The accumulation t((1/2)) ranged from approximately 10 to 15 hours. The accumulation ratio with multiple dosing was <1.5 and decreased with increasing dose (approximately 1.2 in the 10-mg dose). Urinary excretion increased with increasing dose and over time in all dose groups, although it did not exceed 7% in any dose group on day 12. Linagliptin inhibited plasma DPP-4 activity in a dose-dependent manner. Mean DPP-4 inhibition was >or=80% over 24 hours after a single dose of 10 mg and after multiple doses of 5 and 10 mg for 12 days. Postprandial plasma GLP-1 concentrations increased from preprandial concentrations by 2- to 4-fold after administration of single doses and by 2- to 2.5-fold on day 12 after administration of multiple doses. Baseline (premeal) plasma GLP-1 concentrations were higher on day 12 than on day 1 in all linagliptin groups. A total of 3 adverse events were reported in 1 subject each: an increase in histamine concentration in a subject receiving a single dose of linagliptin 5 mg, vasovagal syncope in a subject receiving a single dose of linagliptin 10 mg, and pharyngitis in a subject receiving multiple doses of linagliptin 10 mg. None of these events was considered drug related. No episodes of hypoglycemia occurred during the study.

CONCLUSIONS: In this short-term study in healthy adult male Japanese volunteers, multiple oral doses of linagliptin inhibited plasma DPP-4 activity and elevated active GLP-1 concentrations in a dose-dependent manner, with no episodes of hypoglycemia. Multiple dosing of linagliptin for 12 days was well tolerated and exhibited a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic profile consistent with a once-daily regimen. Clinical studies in Japanese patients with T2DM appear to be warranted.

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