Population pharmacokinetics of the MEK inhibitor selumetinib and its active N-desmethyl metabolite: Data from 10 phase I trials

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Parul Patel
  • Eleanor Howgate
  • Paul Martin
  • David J. Carlile
  • Diansong Zhou


Aims: The aims of the study were to characterize the pharmacokinetics (PK) of selumetinib (AZD6244; ARRY-142886), a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) 1/2 inhibitor in clinical development for various indications, and its N-desmethyl metabolite in healthy volunteers, and evaluate clinically important covariates. Methods: A pooled-population PK analysis was performed using a nonlinear mixed-effects approach with plasma concentration data from 346 subjects who received single oral doses of selumetinib 20-75 mg across 10 phase I studies. Absolute bioavailability was determined using intravenous [14C] selumetinib. Results: A two-compartment linear model with sequential zero-first order absorption and a lag time for the zero-order process was described for selumetinib PK. N-desmethyl metabolite disposition was described by a single compartment with linear elimination, without back transformation. The parent-only and joint models generally described pooled data adequately. For the median subject, not taking interacting drugs, estimates for clearance (CL) and central volume of distribution (V2) for selumetinib in the final joint model were 12.7 l h-1 and 35.6 l, respectively. Food effects, comedication with itraconazole [a cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 inhibitor], fluconazole (a CYP2C19 inhibitor) and rifampicin (a CYP3A4 inducer) and formulation effects were incorporated into the base model a priori. Race and hepatic function were also influential in the PK model. Additional covariates affecting selumetinib disposition identified from covariate analysis were age on V2, bilirubin on CL, and weight on CL and V2. Conclusions: Analysis confirmed previous clinical pharmacology study findings of drug-drug interactions and food effects, with additional covariates that influence selumetinib and N-desmethyl selumetinib PK identified. Dose modifications based on these additional covariates were not considered necessary.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Early online date22 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017