Venetoclax (ABT-199) Might Act as a Perpetrator in Pharmacokinetic Drug-Drug Interactions

Pharmaceutics. 2016 Feb 24;8(1):5. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics8010005.


Venetoclax (ABT-199) represents a specific B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) inhibitor that is currently under development for the treatment of lymphoid malignancies. So far, there is no published information on its interaction potential with important drug metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters, or its efficacy in multidrug resistant (MDR) cells. We therefore scrutinized its drug-drug interaction potential in vitro. Inhibition of cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs) was quantified by commercial kits. Inhibition of drug transporters (P-glycoprotein (P-gp, ABCB1), breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), and organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATPs)) was evaluated by the use of fluorescent probe substrates. Induction of drug transporters and drug metabolizing enzymes was quantified by real-time RT-PCR. The efficacy of venetoclax in MDR cells lines was evaluated with proliferation assays. Venetoclax moderately inhibited P-gp, BCRP, OATP1B1, OATP1B3, CYP3A4, and CYP2C19, whereas CYP2B6 activity was increased. Venetoclax induced the mRNA expression of CYP1A1, CYP1A2, UGT1A3, and UGT1A9. In contrast, expression of ABCB1 was suppressed, which might revert tumor resistance towards antineoplastic P-gp substrates. P-gp over-expression led to reduced antiproliferative effects of venetoclax. Effective concentrations for inhibition and induction lay in the range of maximum plasma concentrations of venetoclax, indicating that it might act as a perpetrator drug in pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions.

Keywords: ABT-199; CYPs; drug transporters; drug–drug interaction; venetoclax.