Background: Venous thromboembolism has been increasingly recognised as a clinical problem in the paediatric population. Guideline recommendations for antithrombotic therapy in paediatric patients are based mainly on extrapolation from adult clinical trial data, owing to the limited number of clinical trials in paediatric populations. The oral, direct Factor Xa inhibitor rivaroxaban has been approved in adult patients for several thromboembolic disorders, and its well-defined pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics and efficacy and safety profiles in adults warrant further investigation of this agent in the paediatric population.
Objective: The objective of this study was to develop and qualify a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model for rivaroxaban doses of 10 and 20 mg in adults and to scale this model to the paediatric population (0-18 years) to inform the dosing regimen for a clinical study of rivaroxaban in paediatric patients.
Methods: Experimental data sets from phase I studies supported the development and qualification of an adult PBPK model. This adult PBPK model was then scaled to the paediatric population by including anthropometric and physiological information, age-dependent clearance and age-dependent protein binding. The pharmacokinetic properties of rivaroxaban in virtual populations of children were simulated for two body weight-related dosing regimens equivalent to 10 and 20 mg once daily in adults. The quality of the model was judged by means of a visual predictive check. Subsequently, paediatric simulations of the area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC), maximum (peak) plasma drug concentration (C max) and concentration in plasma after 24 h (C 24h) were compared with the adult reference simulations.
Results: Simulations for AUC, C max and C 24h throughout the investigated age range largely overlapped with values obtained for the corresponding dose in the adult reference simulation for both body weight-related dosing regimens. However, pharmacokinetic values in infants and preschool children (body weight <40 kg) were lower than the 90 % confidence interval threshold of the adult reference model and, therefore, indicated that doses in these groups may need to be increased to achieve the same plasma levels as in adults. For children with body weight between 40 and 70 kg, simulated plasma pharmacokinetic parameters (C max, C 24h and AUC) overlapped with the values obtained in the corresponding adult reference simulation, indicating that body weight-related exposure was similar between these children and adults. In adolescents of >70 kg body weight, the simulated 90 % prediction interval values of AUC and C 24h were much higher than the 90 % confidence interval of the adult reference population, owing to the weight-based simulation approach, but for these patients rivaroxaban would be administered at adult fixed doses of 10 and 20 mg.
Conclusion: The paediatric PBPK model developed here allowed an exploratory analysis of the pharmacokinetics of rivaroxaban in children to inform the dosing regimen for a clinical study in paediatric patients.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01145859.