Introduction: Treprostinil diethanolamine is an innovative salt form of the prostacyclin analogue, treprostinil sodium, developed as an oral sustained release (SR) osmotic tablet. The availability of a formulation permitting convenient systemic delivery might have applicability to scleroderma vascular complications. We evaluated pharmacokinetics and perfusion in scleroderma patients with digital ischemia following escalating twice-daily doses of treprostinil diethanolamine SR.
Methods: Scleroderma patients with digital ulcers were enrolled in this dual-center, open-label, phase I pharmacokinetic study. Drug concentrations and perfusion, quantified by laser Doppler imaging, were measured over 12 hours at the 2 mg and 4 mg (or maximally tolerated) doses. Pharmacokinetic parameters were determined from individual plasma concentration versus time profiles using non-compartmental analysis methods. Digital perfusion and skin temperature were modeled as a function of log-transformed drug concentration and other covariates by performing repeated measures analyses using random effects models.
Results: Nineteen scleroderma patients (84% female, 53% limited scleroderma) received treprostinil diethanolamine SR with dose titration up to 4 mg twice daily as tolerated. Peak concentrations (mean maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) = 1,176 and 2,107 pg/mL) occurred approximately 3.6 hours after dose administration, and overall exposure (under the plasma concentration-time curve from time 0 to 12 hours post dose (AUC0-12) = 7,187 and 12,992 hr*pg/mL) was linear between the 2 mg and 4 mg doses. Perfusion and digital skin temperature were positively associated with log-transformed plasma concentration at the 4 mg dose (P = 0.015 and P = 0.013, respectively). The most frequent adverse events were similar to those seen with prostacyclin analogues.
Conclusions: Oral treprostinil diethanolamine was effectively absorbed in patients with scleroderma. Drug administration was temporally associated with improved cutaneous perfusion and temperature. Treprostinil diethanolamine may provide a new therapeutic option for Raynaud's phenomenon and the peripheral vascular disease of scleroderma.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00848939.