Gaining insights into the consequences of target-mediated drug disposition of monoclonal antibodies using quasi-steady-state approximations

J Pharmacokinet Pharmacodyn. 2009 Oct;36(5):407-20. doi: 10.1007/s10928-009-9129-5. Epub 2009 Aug 30.


Target-mediated drug disposition (TMDD) is frequently reported for therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and is linked to the high affinity and high specificity of antibody molecules for their target. Understanding TMDD of a monoclonal antibody should go beyond the empirical description of its non-linear PK since valuable insights on the antibody-target interaction itself can be gained. This makes its mechanistic understanding precious for the drug development process, in particular for the optimization of new antibody molecules, for the design and interpretation of pharmacokinetic studies, and possibly even for the evaluation of efficacy and dose selection of drug candidates. Using the observation that the molecular (microscopic) processes are usually much more rapid than the pharmacokinetic (macroscopic) processes, a series of quasi-steady-state conditions on the microscopic level is proposed to bridge the gap between simple empirical and complex mechanistic descriptions of TMDD. These considerations show the impact of parameters such as target turnover, target expression, and target accessibility on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of monoclonal antibodies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacokinetics*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Permeability
  • Receptors, Drug / drug effects
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Receptors, Drug