Aims: Ibandronate, a highly potent nitrogen-containing bisphosphonate, is the subject of an ongoing clinical development programme that aims to maximize the potential of simplified, less frequent oral and intravenous (i.v.) administration in osteoporosis. A modelling and simulation project was undertaken to characterize further the clinical pharmacology of ibandronate and identify convenient intermittent oral and i.v. regimens for clinical evaluation.
Methods and results: Using selected data from clinical studies involving 174 women with postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMO), a classical multicompartmental pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) model was developed that accurately described the PK of i.v. ibandronate in plasma and urine and urinary excretion of the C-telopeptide of the alpha chain of type I collagen (uCTX), a sensitive biomarker of PD response to ibandronate. To reduce processing times, the classical PK-PD model was simplified using a "kinetics of drug action" or kinetic (K)-PD model (i.e. a dose-response model as opposed to a dose-concentration-response model). The performance of the K-PD model was evaluated by fitting data simulated with the PK-PD model under various dosing regimens. The simplified model produced a virtually indistinguishable fit of the data from that of the PK-PD model. The K-PD model was extended to consider the influence of supplemental therapy (calcium with or without vitamin D) on the PD response and validated by retrospectively simulating the uCTX response in a prior Phase III and Phase II/III study of i.v. ibandronate, given once every 3 months, in 3380 women with PMO. The observed median uCTX responses at the scheduled assessment points in the completed studies were within the distribution of the simulated responses. The K-PD model for i.v. ibandronate was extended further to allow simultaneous fitting of uCTX responses after i.v. and oral administration in 676 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, and validated by retrospectively simulating the data observed in a Phase I study of oral daily ibandronate in 180 women with PMO. The K-PD model adequately described the uCTX response after oral dosing.
Conclusions: This validated K-PD model is currently being used to evaluate a range of novel intermittent oral and i.v. ibandronate regimens in an ongoing clinical development programme.