Development of a liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry assay for the quantification of PM01183 (lurbinectedin), a novel antineoplastic agent, in mouse, rat, dog, Cynomolgus monkey and mini-pig plasma

J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2016 May 10;123:37-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2016.01.043. Epub 2016 Jan 21.


Lurbinectedin (PM01183) is a new synthetic tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloid that binds to selected sequences in the minor groove of DNA, inducing PM01183-DNA adducts that stall replication, DNA repair and transcription and gives rise to double-strand breaks and finally, caspase-dependent apoptotic cell death. PM01183 has demonstrated clinical antitumor activity in platinum resistant/refractory ovarian cancer patients. A rapid and sensitive liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry assay was developed and validated to quantify PM01183 in plasma from nonclinical species. The bioanalysis consisted of a supported liquid extraction, followed by a gradient phase chromatography and, detection by positive ion electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. The calibration range for PM01183 was established using PM01183 standards from 0.1 to 100 ng/mL in blank plasma. The multiple reaction monitoring, based on the transition m/z 767.3→273.0, was specific for PM01183, and that based on the transition m/z 771.4→277.0 was specific for the internal standard (deuterated PM01183). No endogenous material interfered with the analysis of PM01183 and the internal standard from blank plasma. The limit of detection (LOD) of the assay was calculated as 0.025 ng/mL. The correlation coefficients for the calibration curves ranged from 0.9937 to 0.9987. The mean inter-day accuracies for all calibration standards ranged from 92 to 108% (≤8% bias), and the mean inter-day precision for calibration standards was always less than 12%. The mean intra and inter-day assay accuracy for all quality control replicates remained between 91 and 109%. The mean intra and inter-day assay precision was less than 10% for all QC levels. The method was validated to demonstrate the specificity, recovery, limit of quantification, accuracy and precision of measurements. The assay has been used to support preclinical pharmacokinetic and toxicokinetic studies of PM01183 in nonclinical species. The main PK parameters in dogs (3 male and 3 female, respectively) were calculated as follows: maximum concentration (Cmax, 12.9±0.6 and 10.2±3.0 ng/mL) and the area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC, 24.9±0.7 and 22.6±6.1 ng h/mL). The results showed that plasma samples could be monitored for PM01183 for long enough to accurately estimate pharmacokinetics information.

Keywords: Bioanalysis; LC–MS/MS; Lurbinectedin; PM01183; Pharmacokinetics.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Calibration
  • Carbolines / chemistry*
  • Carbolines / pharmacokinetics*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 4 or More Rings / chemistry*
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 4 or More Rings / pharmacokinetics*
  • Limit of Detection
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Plasma / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines / chemistry


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carbolines
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 4 or More Rings
  • PM 01183
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines