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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2001 Mar;296(3):890-7.

Pharmacokinetic properties of 2'-O-(2-methoxyethyl)-modified oligonucleotide analogs in rats.

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Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Carlsbad, California 92008, USA.


Plasma pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, excretion, and metabolism of four modified 20-mer antisense oligonucleotides targeted to human intercellular adhesion molecule-1 mRNA have been characterized in rats and compared with a first-generation phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotide (PS ODN), ISIS 2302. The modified oligonucleotides contained 2'-O-(2-methoxyethyl) (2'-O-MOE) ribose sugar modifications on all or a portion of the nucleotides in the antisense sequence. The 2'-O-MOE-modified oligonucleotides were resistant to nuclease metabolism in both plasma and tissue. In general, plasma pharmacokinetics was not substantially altered by addition of the 2'-O-MOE modification to PS ODN. Thus, plasma clearance was dominated by distribution to tissues, broadly, with less than 10% of the administered dose excreted in urine or feces over 24 h. However, the 2'-O-MOE modification combined with the phosphodiester (PO) backbone exhibited 10-fold more rapid plasma clearance, with approximately 50% of the dose excreted in urine as intact oligonucleotide. Consistent with its rapid and extensive excretion, the PO 2'-O-MOE modification distributed to very few organs in any substantial amount with the exception of the kidney. Oligonucleotides that contained phosphorothioate backbones were highly bound to plasma proteins. Indeed, the primary characteristic that resulted in the most marked alterations in pharmacokinetics appeared to be the affinity and capacity of these compounds to bind plasma proteins. A balance of greater stability supplied by the 2'-O-MOE modification together with maintenance of plasma protein binding appears to be necessary to ensure favorable pharmacokinetics of this new generation of antisense oligonucleotides.

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