Predictions of the in vivo clearance of drugs from rate of loss using human liver microsomes for phase I and phase II biotransformations

Pharm Res. 2006 Apr;23(4):654-62. doi: 10.1007/s11095-006-9663-4. Epub 2006 Mar 24.


Purpose: The utility of in vitro metabolism to accurately predict the clearance of hepatically metabolized drugs was evaluated. Three major goals were: (1) to optimize substrate concentration for the accurate prediction of clearance by comparing to Km value, (2) to prove that clearance of drugs by both oxidation and glucuronidation may be predicted by this method, and (3) to determine the effects of nonspecific microsomal binding and plasma protein binding.

Methods: The apparent Km values for five compounds along with scaled intrinsic clearances and predicted hepatic clearances for eight compounds were determined using a substrate loss method. Nonspecific binding to both plasma and microsomal matrices were also examined in the clearance calculations.

Results: The Km values were well within the 2-fold variability expected for between laboratory comparisons. Using both phase I and/or phase II glucuronidation incubation conditions, the predictions of in vivo clearance using the substrate loss method were shown to correlate with published human clearance values. Of particular interest, for highly bound drugs (>95% plasma protein bound), the addition of a plasma protein binding term increased the accuracy of the prediction of in vivo clearance.

Conclusions: The substrate loss method may be used to accurately predict hepatic clearance of drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Biotransformation
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Glucuronides / metabolism
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Protein Binding


  • Blood Proteins
  • Glucuronides
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations