Inhaled hexadecyl-treprostinil provides pulmonary vasodilator activity at significantly lower plasma concentrations than infused treprostinil

Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2018 Apr:49:104-111. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2018.02.002. Epub 2018 Feb 5.


INS1009 is a long acting pulmonary vasodilator prodrug of treprostinil (TRE) that is formulated in a lipid nanoparticle for inhaled delivery by nebulization. This study examined the ability of INS1009 to inhibit vasoconstriction in the pulmonary vasculature of rats and dogs and the extent to which local activity within the lung contributes to its activity. Rats received a single dose of INS1009 by nose-only inhalation or were given a continuous intravenous (i.v.) infusion of TRE, followed by an i.v. challenge of the thromboxane mimetic pulmonary vasoconstrictor U46619 and the increase in pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) was measured. In beagle dogs, INS1009 was given by inhalation via face mask and TRE was given by continuous i.v. infusion; vasoconstriction was then induced by inhaled hypoxia with reduction of FIO2 to 0.10. Changes in the dog's right ventricular pulse pressure (RVPP) were measured using implanted telemetry probes. Blood samples were collected in rats and dogs immediately after the challenge to measure the plasma TRE concentration. Exposure of rats to inhaled INS1009 (0.5, 3.0 and 20.9 μg/kg) inhibited the U46619-induced increase in PAP at all doses up to 6 h with statistically significant inhibition up to 24 h with the pooled dose-response data. The concentration of TRE in the plasma at which PAP was reduced by 50% was approximately 60-fold lower for INS1009 (EC50 = 0.08 ng/mL) as compared to i.v. TRE (EC50 = 4.9 ng/mL). In dogs, INS1009 (2.7-80.9 μg/kg) inhibited the hypoxia-induced increase in RVPP at all doses up to 6 h with activity once again observed with the pooled dose-response of 10 μg/kg and higher at 24 h. The concentration of TRE in the plasma at which RVPP was reduced by 50% was approximately 550-fold lower for INS1009 (EC50 = 0.0075 ng/mL) as compared to i.v. TRE (EC50 = 4.1 ng/mL). These studies, in two species and by two different pulmonary vasoconstrictor challenges, demonstrate that inhaled INS1009 not only has long-acting vasodilatory effects but also that the local activity within the lung contributes to this response. Therefore, INS1009 may offer the opportunity to effect pulmonary vasodilation for long periods but with substantially lower systemic exposure than infused TRE.

Keywords: Dogs; Hexadecyl-treprostinil prodrug; Local lung effect; Pulmonary vasodilation; Rats; Treprostinil.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology
  • Arterial Pressure / drug effects
  • Dogs
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Epoprostenol / administration & dosage
  • Epoprostenol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Epoprostenol / pharmacokinetics
  • Epoprostenol / pharmacology
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Male
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Prodrugs
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Species Specificity
  • Vasoconstriction / drug effects
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Lipids
  • Prodrugs
  • hexadecyl-treprostinil
  • Epoprostenol
  • treprostinil