Plasma Pharmacokinetics of N-Acetylgalactosamine-Conjugated Small-Interfering Ribonucleic Acids (GalNAc-Conjugated siRNAs)

S. Sten, T. Cardilin, M. Antonsson, P. Gennemark. Clinical Pharmacokinetics (2023), 12 October 2023.


Small-interfering ribonucleic acids (siRNAs) with N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) conjugation for improved liver uptake represent an emerging class of drugs that modulate liver-expressed therapeutic targets. The pharmacokinetics of GalNAc-siRNAs are characterized by a rapid distribution from plasma to tissue (hours) and a long terminal plasma half-life, analyzed in the form of the antisense strand, driven by redistribution from tissue (weeks). Understanding how clinical pharmacokinetics relate to the dose and type of siRNA chemical stabilizing method used is critical, e.g., to design studies, to investigate safety windows, and to predict the pharmacokinetics of new preclinical assets. To this end, we collected and analyzed pharmacokinetic data from the literature regarding nine GalNAc-siRNAs. Based on this analysis, we showed that the clinical plasma pharmacokinetics of GalNAc-siRNAs are approximately dose proportional and similar between chemical stabilizing methods. This holds for both the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) and the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax). Corresponding rat and monkey pharmacokinetic data for a subset of the nine GalNAc-siRNAs show dose-proportional Cmax, supra-dose-proportional AUC, and similar pharmacokinetics between chemical stabilizing methods​. Together, the animal and human pharmacokinetic data indicate that plasma clearance divided by bioavailability follows allometric principles and scales between species with an exponent of 0.75. Finally, the clinical plasma concentration-time profiles can be empirically described by standard one-compartment kinetics with first-order absorption up to 24 h after subcutaneous dosing, and by three-compartment kinetics with first-order absorption in general. To describe the system more mechanistically, we report a corrected and unambiguously defined version of a previously published physiologically based pharmacokinetic model.

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