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Semra Palić

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Semra Palić, Wan-Yu Chu, Shyam Sundar, Dinesh Mondal, Pradeep Das, Krishna Pandey, Sheeraz Raja, S. Rijal, Ignace C Roseboom et al.

INTRODUCTION Post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) arises as a dermal complication following a visceral leishmaniasis (VL) infection. Current treatment options for PKDL are unsatisfactory, and there is a knowledge gap regarding the distribution of antileishmanial compounds within human skin. The present study investigated the skin distribution of miltefosine in PKDL patients, with the aim to improve the understanding of the pharmacokinetics at the skin target site in PKDL. METHODS Fifty-two PKDL patients underwent treatment with liposomal amphotericin B (20 mg/kg) plus miltefosine (allometric dosing) for 21 days. Plasma concentrations of miltefosine were measured on study days 8, 15, 22 and 30, while a punch skin biopsy was taken on day 22. A physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model was developed to evaluate the distribution of miltefosine into the skin. RESULTS Following the allometric weight-based dosing regimen, median miltefosine concentrations on day 22 were 43.73 µg/g (IQR: 21.94-60.65 µg/g) in skin and 33.29 µg/mL (IQR: 25.9-42.58 µg/mL) in plasma. The median individual concentration ratio of skin to plasma was 1.19 (IQR: 0.79-1.9). In 87% (45/52) of patients, skin exposure was above the suggested EC90 PK target of 10.6 mg/L associated with in vitro susceptibility. Simulations indicated that the residence time of miltefosine in the skin would be more than 2-fold longer than in plasma, estimated by a mean residence time of 604 versus 266 hours, respectively. CONCLUSION This study provides the first accurate measurements of miltefosine penetration into the skin, demonstrating substantial exposure and prolonged retention of miltefosine within the skin. These findings support the use of miltefosine in cutaneous manifestations of leishmaniasis. In combination with parasitological and clinical data, these results are critical for the future optimization of combination therapies with miltefosine in the treatment of PKDL.

Semra Palić, A. Kip, J. Beijnen, J. Mbui, A. Musa, Alexandra Solomos, M. Wasunna, J. Olobo, F. Alves et al.

Abstract Background Conventional miltefosine dosing (2.5 mg/kg/day) for treatment of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is less effective in children than in adults. A higher allometric dose (median 3.2 mg/kg/day) was therefore investigated in paediatric VL patients in Eastern Africa. Results of this trial showed an unforeseen, lower than dose-proportional increase in exposure. Therefore, we performed a pooled model-based analysis of the paediatric data available from both dosing regimens to characterize observed non-linearities in miltefosine pharmacokinetics (PK). Methods Fifty-one children with VL were included in this analysis, treated with either a conventional (n = 21) or allometric (n = 30) miltefosine dosing regimen. PK data were analysed using non-linear mixed-effects modelling. Results A two-compartment model following first-order absorption and linear elimination, with two separate effects on relative oral bioavailability, was found to fit these data best. A 69% lower bioavailability at treatment start was estimated, presumably due to initial malnourishment and malabsorption. Stagnation in miltefosine accumulation in plasma, hampering increased drug exposure, was related to the increase in cumulative dose (mg/kg/day). However, the allometric regimen increased exposure 1.7-fold in the first treatment week and reduced the time to reach the PK target by 17.4%. Conclusions Miltefosine PK in children suffering from VL are characterized by dose-dependent non-linearities that obstruct the initially expected exposure levels. Bioavailability appeared to be affected by the cumulative dose, possibly as a consequence of impaired absorption. Despite this, allometric dosing led to a faster target achievement and increased exposure compared with conventional dosing.

J. M. Brussee, E. Krekels, E. Calvier, Semra Palić, A. Rostami-Hodjegan, M. Danhof, J. Barrett, S. D. de Wildt, C. Knibbe

Recently a framework was presented to assess whether pediatric covariate models for clearance can be extrapolated between drugs sharing elimination pathways, based on extraction ratio, protein binding, and other drug properties. Here we evaluate when a pediatric covariate function for midazolam clearance can be used to scale clearance of other CYP3A substrates. A population PK model including a covariate function for clearance was developed for midazolam in children aged 1–17 years. Commonly used CYP3A substrates were selected and using the framework, it was assessed whether the midazolam covariate function accurately scales their clearance. For eight substrates, reported pediatric clearance values were compared numerically and graphically with clearance values scaled using the midazolam covariate function. For sildenafil, clearance values obtained with population PK modeling based on pediatric concentration-time data were compared with those scaled with the midazolam covariate function. According to the framework, a midazolam covariate function will lead to systemically accurate clearance scaling (absolute prediction error (PE) < 30%) for CYP3A substrates binding to albumin with an extraction ratio between 0.35 and 0.65 when binding < 10% in adults, between 0.05 and 0.55 when binding > 90%, and with an extraction ratio ranging between these values when binding between 10 and 90%. Scaled clearance values for eight commonly used CYP3A substrates were reasonably accurate (PE < 50%). Scaling of sildenafil clearance was accurate (PE < 30%). We defined for which CYP3A substrates a pediatric covariate function for midazolam clearance can accurately scale plasma clearance in children. This scaling approach may be useful for CYP3A substrates with scarce or no available pediatric PK information.

Semra Palić, P. Bhairosing, J. Beijnen, T. Dorlo

Host immune responses are pivotal for the successful treatment of the leishmaniases, a spectrum of infections caused by Leishmania parasites. Previous studies speculated that augmenting cytokines associated with a type 1 T-helper cell (Th1) response is necessary to combat severe forms of leishmaniasis, and it has been hypothesized that the antileishmanial drug miltefosine is capable of immunomodulation and induction of Th1 cytokines. ABSTRACT Host immune responses are pivotal for the successful treatment of the leishmaniases, a spectrum of infections caused by Leishmania parasites. Previous studies speculated that augmenting cytokines associated with a type 1 T-helper cell (Th1) response is necessary to combat severe forms of leishmaniasis, and it has been hypothesized that the antileishmanial drug miltefosine is capable of immunomodulation and induction of Th1 cytokines. A better understanding of the immunomodulatory effects of miltefosine is central to providing a rationale regarding synergistic mechanisms of activity to combine miltefosine optimally with other conventional and future antileishmanials that are currently under development. Therefore, a systematic literature search was performed to evaluate to what extent and how miltefosine influences the host Th1 response. Miltefosine’s effects observed in both a preclinical and a clinical context associated with immunomodulation in the treatment of leishmaniasis are evaluated in this review. A total of 27 studies were included in the analysis. Based on the current evidence, miltefosine is not only capable of inducing direct parasite killing but also of modulating the host immunity. Our findings suggest that miltefosine-induced activation of Th1 cytokines, particularly represented by increased gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and interleukin 12 (IL-12), is essential to prevail over the Leishmania-driven Th2 response. Differences in miltefosine-induced host-mediated effects between in vitro, ex vivo, animal model, and human studies are further discussed. All things considered, an effective treatment with miltefosine is acquired by enhanced functional Th1 cytokine responses and may further be enhanced in combination with immunostimulatory agents.

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