Characterization of Antineovascularization Activity and Ocular Pharmacokinetics of Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Inhibitor GNE-947

Drug Metab Dispos. 2020 May;48(5):408-419. doi: 10.1124/dmd.119.089763. Epub 2020 Mar 4.


The objectives of the present study were to characterize GNE-947 for its phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitory activities, in vitro anti-cell migration activity in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), in vivo antineovascularization activity in laser-induced rat choroidal neovascular (CNV) eyes, pharmacokinetics in rabbit plasma and eyes, and ocular distribution using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) and autoradioluminography. Its PI3K and mTOR K i were 0.0005 and 0.045 µM, respectively, and its HUVEC IC50 was 0.093 µM. GNE-947 prevented neovascularization in the rat CNV model at 50 or 100 µg per eye with repeat dosing. After a single intravenous injection at 2.5 and 500 μg/kg in rabbits, its plasma terminal half-lives (t 1/2) were 9.11 and 9.59 hours, respectively. After a single intravitreal injection of a solution at 2.5 μg per eye in rabbits, its apparent t 1/2 values were 14.4, 16.3, and 23.2 hours in the plasma, vitreous humor, and aqueous humor, respectively. After a single intravitreal injection of a suspension at 33.5, 100, 200 μg per eye in rabbits, the t 1/2 were 29, 74, and 219 days in the plasma and 46, 143, and 191 days in the eyes, respectively. MALDI-IMS and autoradioluminography images show that GNE-947 did not homogenously distribute in the vitreous humor and aggregated at the injection sites after injection of the suspension, which was responsible for the long t 1/2 of the suspension because of the slow dissolution process. This hypothesis was supported by pharmacokinetic modeling analyses. In conclusion, the PI3K/mTOR inhibitor GNE-947 prevented neovascularization in a rat CNV model, with t 1/2 up to approximately 6 months after a single intravitreal injection of the suspension in rabbit eyes. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: GNE-947 is a potent phosphoinositide 3-kinase/mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor and exhibits anti-choroidal neovascular activity in rat eyes. The duration of GNE-947 in the rabbit eyes after intravitreal injection in a solution is short, with a half-life (t 1/2) of less than a day. However, the duration after intravitreal dose of a suspension is long, with t 1/2 up to 6 months due to low solubility and slow dissolution. These results indicate that intravitreal injection of a suspension for low-solubility drugs can be used to achieve long-term drug exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / drug therapy*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / etiology
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Half-Life
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Intravitreal Injections
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / pharmacology
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / therapeutic use
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Solubility
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases