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Mol Pharm. 2013 Feb 4;10(2):459-66. doi: 10.1021/mp3002045. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

Mechanism for effective lymphoid cell and tissue loading following oral administration of nucleotide prodrug GS-7340.

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Gilead Sciences, Inc., Foster City, California 94404, United States.


GS-7340 is a prodrug of tenofovir (TFV) that more efficiently delivers TFV into lymphoid cells and tissues than the clinically used prodrug TFV disoproxil fumarate, resulting in higher antiviral potency at greatly reduced doses and lower systemic TFV exposure. First-pass extraction by the intestine and liver represents substantial barriers to the oral delivery of prodrugs designed for rapid intracellular hydrolysis. In order to understand how GS-7340 reduces first-pass clearance to be an effective oral prodrug, its permeability and stability were characterized in vitro and detailed pharmacokinetic studies were completed in dogs. GS-7340 showed concentration-dependent permeability through monolayers of caco-2 cells and dose-dependent oral bioavailability in dogs, increasing from 1.7% at 2 mg/kg to 24.7% at 20 mg/kg, suggesting saturable intestinal efflux transport. Taking into account a 65% hepatic extraction measured in portal vein cannulated dogs, high dose GS-7340 is nearly completely absorbed. Consistent with the proposed role of intestinal efflux transport, coadministration of low dose GS-7340 with a transport inhibitor substantially increased GS-7340 exposure. The result of effective oral absorption and efficient lymphoid cell loading was reflected in the high and persistent levels of the pharmacologically active metabolite, TFV diphosphate, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells following oral administration to dogs. In conclusion, GS-7340 reaches the systemic circulation to effectively load target cells by saturating intestinal efflux transporters, facilitated by its high solubility, and by maintaining sufficient stability in intestinal and hepatic tissue.

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