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Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2018 Jun;8(3):536-542. doi: 10.1007/s13346-017-0472-6.

Intravenous infusion for the controlled exposure to the dual ABCB1 and ABCG2 inhibitor elacridar in nonhuman primates.

Author information

IMIV, CEA, Inserm, CNRS, Univ. Paris-Sud, Université Paris Saclay, CEA-SHFJ, Orsay, France.
CEA/DRF/Institut de Biologie François Jacob/MIRCen, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.
Health and Environment Department, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Seibersdorf, Austria.
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Variabilité de Réponse aux Psychotropes, INSERM, U1144, 75006, Paris, France.
Faculté de Pharmacie de Paris, Université Paris Descartes, Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 75006, Paris, France.
UTCBS, CNRS UMR 8258, Inserm U1022, 75006, Paris, France.
IMIV, CEA, Inserm, CNRS, Univ. Paris-Sud, Université Paris Saclay, CEA-SHFJ, Orsay, France.
CEA/DRF/JOLIOT/Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot, 91406, Orsay, France.


Elacridar (GF120918) is a highly potent inhibitor of both P-glycoprotein (ABCB1) and breast cancer resistance protein (ABCG2), the main efflux transporters expressed at the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Elacridar shows very low aqueous solubility, which complicates its formulation for i.v. administration. An intravenous infusion protocol would be preferred to achieve high and controlled plasma concentrations of elacridar in large animals, including nonhuman primates. Formulation of elacridar for i.v. infusion was achieved using a co-solvent strategy, resulting in an aqueous dispersion with a final concentration of 5 g L-1 elacridar with tetrahydrofuran (5% w/v) in aqueous D-glucose solution (2.5%, w/v). Particle size (mean = 2.8 ± 0.9 μm) remained stable for 150 min. The preparation was i.v. administered as a continuous infusion (12 mg kg-1 h-1 for 90 min) to three baboons. Arterial and venous plasma pharmacokinetics (PK) of elacridar were monitored using a newly developed and validated HPLC-UV method. Elacridar concentration increased rapidly to reach a plateau at 9.5 μg mL-1 within 20 min after the start of infusion. Elacridar PK in venous plasma did not differ from arterial plasma facing the BBB, indicating the absence of an arteriovenous concentration gradient. Intravenous infusion of elacridar allows for controlled exposure of the BBB and offers a useful tool to assess the impact of ABCB1/ABCG2 on drug disposition to the brain in nonhuman primates, a relevant animal model for the study of transporter function at the BBB.


ATP-binding cassette; BCRP; Blood-brain barrier; Breast cancer resistance protein; Multidrug resistance; P-glycoprotein

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