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AAPS J. 2013 Apr;15(2):455-64. doi: 10.1208/s12248-013-9451-0. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

A workflow example of PBPK modeling to support pediatric research and development: case study with lorazepam.

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School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave W, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada.


The use of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models in the field of pediatric drug development has garnered much interest of late due to a recent Food and Drug Administration recommendation. The purpose of this study is to illustrate the developmental processes involved in creation of a pediatric PBPK model incorporating existing adult drug data. Lorazepam, a benzodiazepine utilized in both adults and children, was used as an example. A population-PBPK model was developed in PK-Sim v4.2® and scaled to account for age-related changes in size and composition of tissue compartments, protein binding, and growth/maturation of elimination processes. Dose (milligrams per kilogram) requirements for children aged 0-18 years were calculated based on simulations that achieved targeted exposures based on adult references. Predictive accuracy of the PBPK model for producing comparable plasma concentrations among 63 pediatric subjects was assessed using average-fold error (AFE). Estimates of clearance (CL) and volume of distribution (V(ss)) were compared with observed values for a subset of 15 children using fold error (FE). Pediatric dose requirements in young children (1-3 years) exceeded adult levels on a linear weight-adjusted (milligrams per kilogram) basis. AFE values for model-derived concentration estimates were within 1.5- and 2-fold deviation from observed values for 73% and 92% of patients, respectively. For CL, 60% and 80% of predictions were within 1.5 and 2 FE, respectively. Comparatively, predictions of V(ss) were more accurate with 80% and 100% of estimates within 1.5 and 2 FE, respectively. Using the presented workflow, the developed pediatric model estimated lorazepam pharmacokinetics in children as a function of age.

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