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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2001 Oct;299(1):31-8.

Preclinical studies to predict the disposition of Apo2L/tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand in humans: characterization of in vivo efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and safety.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacologic Sciences, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California, USA.


Apo2L/TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor gene family known to induce apoptosis in a number of cancer cell lines and may have broad-spectrum activity against human malignancies. These studies have evaluated the potency of recombinant soluble human Apo2L/TRAIL in a mouse xenograft model and the disposition and safety of Apo2L/TRAIL in rodents and nonhuman primates. Mice with established COLO205 tumors were given daily i.v. injections of Apo2L/TRAIL (30-120 mg/kg/day). Control tumors doubled in size every 2 to 3 days, while time to tumor doubling in the treatment groups was significantly longer and related to dose (14-21 days). For pharmacokinetic studies, Apo2L/TRAIL was given as an i.v. bolus to mice (10 mg/kg), rats (10 mg/kg), cynomolgus monkeys (1, 5, and 50 mg/kg), and chimpanzees (1 and 5 mg/kg). Apo2L/TRAIL was rapidly eliminated from the serum of all species studied. Half-lives were approximately 3 to 5 min in rodents and approximately 23 to 31 min in nonhuman primates. Allometric scaling provided estimates of Apo2L/TRAIL kinetics in humans, suggesting that on a milligram per kilogram basis, doses significantly lower than those used in xenograft studies could be effective in humans. Apo2L/TRAIL clearance was highly correlated with glomerular filtration rate across species, indicating that the kidneys play a critical role in the elimination of this molecule. Safety evaluations in cynomolgus monkeys and chimpanzees revealed no abnormalities associated with Apo2L/TRAIL exposure. In conclusion, these studies have characterized the disposition of Apo2L/TRAIL in rodents and primates and provide information that will be used to predict the pharmacokinetics of Apo2L/TRAIL in humans.

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