Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Jurgen Venitz


This research developed and validated QSPKR models for predicting in-vivo human, systemic biologically relevant PK properties (i.e., reflecting the disposition of the unbound drug) of four, preselected, pharmacological classes of drugs, namely, benzodiazepines (BZD), neuromuscular blocking agents (NMB), triptans (TRP) and class III antiarrhythmic agents (AAR), as well as PK allometric scaling (PK-AS) models for BZD and NMB, using pertinent human and animal systemic PK information (fu, CLtot, Vdss and fe) from published literature. Overall, lipophilicity (logD7.4) and molecular weight (MW) were found to be the most important and statistically significant molecular properties, affecting biologically relevant systemic PK properties, and the observed relationships were mechanistically plausible: For relatively small MW and lipophilic molecules, (e.g., BZD), an increase in logD7.4 was associated with a decrease in fu, an increase in Vdssu and CLnonrenu, suggesting the prevalence of nonspecific hydrophobic interactions with biological membranes/plasma proteins as well as hepatic partitioning/DME binding. Similar trends were observed in fu and Vdssu for intermediate to large MW, hydrophilic molecules (e.g., NMB). However, although similar trends were observed in fu and Vdssu for relatively hydrophilic, intermediate MW molecules (e.g., TRP), and a heterogeneous class (e.g., Class III AAR), logD7.4 and MW were found to be highly correlated, i.e., the indepdendent effects of logD7,4 and MW cannot be assessed NMB, TRP and Class III AAR show mechanistically diverse clearance pathways, e.g., hepatobiliary, extrahepatic, enzymatic/chemical degradation and renal excretion; therefore, effects of the logD7.4 and/or MW are note generalizable for any of the clearances across classes. PK-AS analyses showed that Vdssu and Vdss scaled well with body weight across animal species (including humans) for BZD. Overall, within the limitations of the methods (and the sample size), ‘acceptable’ predictions (i.e., within 0.5- to 2.0-fold error range) were obtained for Vdssu and Vdss for BZD (and fu correction resulted in improvement of the prediction); however, none of the CLtot predictions were acceptable, suggesting major, qualitative interspecies differences in drug metabolism, even after correcting for body weight (BW). NMB undergo little extravascular distribution owing to their relatively large MW and charged nature, and, as a result, a high percentage of acceptable predictions was obtained for Vdss (based on BW). Similarly, the prediction of CLren (based on BW and glomerular filtration rate, GFR) was acceptable, suggesting that NMB are cleared by GFR across species, and there are no interspecies differences in their tubular handling. On the other hand, CLtot (and/or CLnonren) could not be acceptably predicted by PK-AS, suggesting major differences in their clearance mechanisms across animal species.


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