A simple and sensitive liquid chromatography⁻quadrupole-time-of-flight⁻mass spectrometric (LC-QTOF-MS) assay has been developed for the evaluation of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (PK) properties of vipadenant in rat, a selective A2a receptor antagonist as one of the novel immune checkpoint inhibitors. A simple protein precipitation method using acetonitrile was used for the sample preparation and the pre-treated samples were separated by a reverse-phase C18 column. The calibration curve was evaluated in the range of 3.02 ~ 2200 ng/mL and the quadratic regression (weighted 1/concentration) was used for the best fit of the curve with a correlation coefficient ≥0.997. The in vivo PK studies in rats showed that vipadenant bioavailability was 30.4 ± 8.9% with a low to moderate drug clearance. In addition, in vitro/in vivo metabolite profiles in rat were also explored. Five different metabolites were observed in our experimental conditions and the major metabolites were different between in vitro and in vivo conditions. As far as we know, there has been no report on the development of quantitative methods for its PK samples nor the identification of its metabolites since vipadenant was developed. Therefore, this paper would be very useful to better understand the pharmacokinetic and drug metabolism properties of vipadenant in rat as well as other species.
Keywords: A2a receptor antagonist; LC-QTOF-MS; immune checkpoint; metabolite identification; pharmacokinetics; vipadenant.