Population Pharmacokinetics of Pyronaridine in Pediatric Malaria Patients

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Dec 14;60(3):1450-8. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02004-15.


Pyramax is a pyronaridine (PYR)-artesunate (PA) combination for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in adult and pediatric patients. A granule formulation of this combination is being developed for treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria in pediatric patients. The aims of this study were to describe the pharmacokinetics of PYR using a total of 1,085 blood PYR concentrations available from 349 malaria patients younger than 16 years of age with mild to moderate uncomplicated malaria and to confirm the dosing regimen for the pediatric granule formulation. Nonlinear mixed-effects modeling using NONMEM software was used to obtain the pharmacokinetic and inter- and intraindividual variability parameter estimates. The population pharmacokinetics of PYR were described by a two-compartment model with first-order absorption and elimination. Allometric scaling was implemented to address the effect of body weight on clearance and volume parameters. The final parameter estimates of PYR apparent clearance (CL/F), central volume of distribution (V2/F), peripheral volume of distribution (V3/F), intercompartmental clearance (Q/F), and absorption rate constant (Ka) were 377 liters/day, 2,230 liters, 3,230 liters, 804 liters/day and 17.9 day(-1), respectively. Covariate model building conducted using forward addition (P < 0.05) followed by backward elimination (P < 0.001) yielded two significant covariate-parameter relationships, i.e., age on V2/F and formulation on Ka. Evaluation of bootstrapping, visual predictive check, and condition number indicated that the final model displayed satisfactory robustness, predictive power, and stability. Simulations of PYR concentration-time profiles generated from the final model show similar exposures across pediatric weight ranges, supporting the proposed labeling for weight-based dosing of Pyramax granules. (These studies have been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT00331136 [phase II study] and NCT00541385, NCT00403260, NCT00422084, and NCT00440999 [phase III studies]. The most recent phase III study was registered at pactr.org under registration no. PACTR201105000286876.).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antimalarials / pharmacokinetics*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Artemisinins / pharmacokinetics
  • Artesunate
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Malaria / drug therapy*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / drug therapy
  • Malaria, Vivax / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Naphthyridines / pharmacokinetics*


  • Antimalarials
  • Artemisinins
  • Naphthyridines
  • Artesunate
  • pyronaridine

Associated data

  • PACTR/PACTR201105000286876
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00331136
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00403260
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00422084
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00440999
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00541385