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Clin Pharmacokinet. 2011 Dec 1;50(12):793-807. doi: 10.2165/11594240-000000000-00000.

Population pharmacokinetic meta-analysis of denosumab in healthy subjects and postmenopausal women with osteopenia or osteoporosis.

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Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, USA.



Inhibition of the receptor activator of nuclear factor κ-B ligand (RANKL) is a therapeutic target for treatment of bone disorders associated with increased bone resorption, such as osteoporosis. The objective of this analysis was to characterize the population pharmacokinetics of denosumab (AMG 162; Prolia®), a fully human IgG2 monoclonal antibody that binds to RANKL, in healthy subjects and postmenopausal women with osteopenia or osteoporosis.


A total of 22944 serum free denosumab concentrations from 495 healthy subjects and 1069 postmenopausal women with osteopenia or osteoporosis were pooled. Denosumab was administered as either a single intravenous dose (n = 36), a single subcutaneous dose (n = 469) or multiple subcutaneous doses (n = 1059), ranging from 0.01 to 3 mg/kg (or 6-210 mg as fixed mass dosages), every 3 or 6 months for up to 48 months. An open, two-compartment pharmacokinetic model with a quasi-steady-state approximation of the target-mediated drug disposition model was used to describe denosumab pharmacokinetics, using NONMEM Version 7.1.0 software. Subcutaneous absorption was characterized by the first-order absorption rate constant (k(a)), with constant absolute bioavailability over the range of doses that were evaluated. Clearance and volume of distribution parameters were scaled by body weight, using a power model. Model evaluation was performed through visual predictive checks.


The subcutaneous bioavailability of denosumab was 64%, and the k(a) was 0.00883 h-1. The central volume of distribution and linear clearance were 2.49 L/66 kg and 3.06 mL/h/66 kg, respectively. The baseline RANKL level, quasi-steady-state constant and RANKL degradation rate were 614 ng/mL, 138 ng/mL and 0.00148 h-1, respectively. Between-subject variability in model parameters was moderate. A fixed dose of 60 mg provided RANKL inhibition similar to that achieved by equivalent body weight-based dosing. The effects of age and race on the area under the serum concentration-time curve of denosumab were less than 15% over the range of covariate values that were evaluated.


The non-linearity in denosumab pharmacokinetics is probably due to RANKL binding, and denosumab dose adjustment based on the patient demographics is not warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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