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Pharm Res. 2010 Dec;27(12):2633-45. doi: 10.1007/s11095-010-0262-z. Epub 2010 Oct 5.

Population pharmacokinetic analysis of blood and joint synovial fluid concentrations of robenacoxib from healthy dogs and dogs with osteoarthritis.

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Novartis Pharma AG, Modeling & Simulation Pharmacology, Postfach, Basel, Switzerland.



The purpose of this population analysis was to characterize the pharmacokinetic properties of robenacoxib in blood and stifle joint synovial fluid of dogs.


Data were obtained from two studies: 1) 8 healthy Beagle dogs in which an acute inflammation was induced by injection of urate crystals into one joint; 2) 95 dogs from various breeds diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA). Robenacoxib concentrations in blood and synovial fluid were measured using a validated HPLC-UV and LC-MS method. Non-linear mixed effects modeling was performed using NONMEM6.


A two-compartment pharmacokinetic model with linear elimination was developed to describe blood concentrations of robenacoxib. Blood clearance in healthy animals was found to be 75% higher than in OA dogs. Synovial fluid concentrations were modeled using an effect-compartment-type model predicting longer residence times in OA dogs compared to healthy Beagles (e.g. concentrations above the IC(50) for COX-2, respectively, 16 h vs. 10 h at 1.5 mg/kg).


Robenacoxib was found to reside longer at the effect site (inflamed joint) compared to blood in both healthy and OA dogs. These results may explain the good efficacy observed with once-daily dosing in clinical trials and the high safety index of robenacoxib in dogs.

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