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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2014 Aug 1;278(3):209-19. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2014.03.010. Epub 2014 Mar 22.

Model-based analysis of thromboxane B₂ and prostaglandin E₂ as biomarkers in the safety evaluation of naproxen.

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  • 1Division of Pharmacology, Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.
  • 2Division of Pharmacology, Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands; Clinical Pharmacology Modelling and Simulation, GlaxoSmithKline, Uxbridge, UK.


The assessment of safety in traditional toxicology protocols relies on evidence arising from observed adverse events (AEs) in animals and on establishing their correlation with different measures of drug exposure (e.g., Cmax and AUC). Such correlations, however, ignore the role of biomarkers, which can provide further insight into the underlying pharmacological mechanisms. Here we use naproxen as a paradigm drug to explore the feasibility of a biomarker-guided approach for the prediction of AEs in humans. A standard toxicology protocol was set up for the evaluation of effects of naproxen in rat, in which four doses were tested (7.5, 15, 40 and 80 mg/kg). In addition to sparse blood sampling for the assessment of exposure, thromboxane B₂ and prostaglandin E₂ were also collected in satellite groups. Nonlinear mixed effects modelling was used to evaluate the predictive performance of the approach. A one-compartmental model with first order absorption was found to best describe the pharmacokinetics of naproxen. A nonlinear relationship between dose and bioavailability was observed which leads to a less than proportional increase in naproxen concentrations with increasing doses. The pharmacodynamics of TXB₂ and PGE₂ was described by direct inhibition models with maximum pharmacological effects achieved at doses >7.5 mg/kg. The predicted PKPD relationship in humans was within 10-fold of the values previously published. Moreover, our results indicate that biomarkers can be used to assess interspecies differences in PKPD and extrapolated data from animals to humans. Biomarker sampling should be used systematically in general toxicity studies.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Biomarkers; Drug development; Long term safety; Naproxen; PKPD modelling; Safety pharmacology

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