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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2001 May;45(5):1379-86.

Safety and pharmacokinetics of single doses of (+)-calanolide a, a novel, naturally occurring nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, in healthy, human immunodeficiency virus-negative human subjects.

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Clinical and Epidemiology Consultants, Atlanta, Georgia 30328, USA.


(+)-Calanolide A is a novel, naturally occurring, nonnucleoside inhibitor of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase first isolated from a tropical tree (Calophyllum lanigerum) in the Malaysian rain forest. Previous studies have demonstrated that (+)-calanolide A has specific activity against the reverse transcriptase of HIV-1 and a favorable safety profile in animals. In addition, (+)-calanolide A exhibits a unique HIV-1 resistance profile in vitro. The safety and pharmacokinetics of (+)-calanolide A was examined in four successive single-dose cohorts (200, 400, 600, and 800 mg) in healthy, HIV-negative volunteers. In this initial phase I study, the toxicity of (+)-calanolide A was minimal in the 47 subjects treated. Dizziness, taste perversion, headache, eructation, and nausea were the most frequently reported adverse events. These events were not all judged to be related to study medication nor were they dose related. While 51% of subjects reported mild and transient dizziness, in many cases this appeared to be temporally related to phlebotomy. Calculation of the terminal-phase half-life (t(1/2)) was precluded by intrasubject variability in the 200-, 400-, and 600-mg dose cohorts but was approximately 20 h for the 800-mg dose group. (+)-Calanolide A was rapidly absorbed following administration, with time to maximum concentration of drug in plasma (T(max)) values occurring between 2.4 and 5.2 h postdosing depending on the dose. Plasma levels of (+)-calanolide A at all dosing levels were quite variable; however, both the mean concentration in plasma (C(max)), and the area under the plasma concentration-time curve increased proportionately in relation to the dose. Although raw plasma drug levels were higher in women than in men, when doses were normalized for body mass, the pharmacokinetic profiles were virtually identical with those observed for males. In general, levels of (+)-calanolide A in human plasma were higher than would have been predicted from animal studies, yet the safety profile remained benign. In conclusion, this study demonstrated the safety and favorable pharmacokinetic profile of single doses of (+)-calanolide A in healthy, HIV-negative individuals.

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