Exposure-Response Analysis of Vamorolone (VBP15) in Boys With Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

J Clin Pharmacol. 2020 Oct;60(10):1385-1396. doi: 10.1002/jcph.1632. Epub 2020 May 20.


Exposure-response relationships of vamorolone, a novel dissociative steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, were investigated in clinical trials in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Variables were clinical outcome measures, Fridericia-corrected QT (QTcF) duration, and pharmacodynamic (PD) biomarkers. Exposure metrics were area under the plasma concentration time curve (AUC) and maximum plasma concentration (Cmax ), with a sigmoid Emax model applied. Significant improvement in clinical efficacy outcomes was observed after 24 weeks of daily dosing. The primary outcome, time to stand from supine velocity, exhibited the highest sensitivity to vamorolone, with the lowest AUC value providing 50% of maximum effect (E50 = 186 ng·h/mL), followed by time to climb 4 stairs (E50 = 478 ng·h/mL), time to run/walk 10 m (E50 = 1220 ng·h/mL), and 6-minute walk test (E50 = 1770 ng·h/mL). Week 2 changes of proinflammatory PD biomarkers showed exposure-dependent decreases. The E50 was 260 ng·h/mL for insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2, 1200 ng·h/mL for matrix metalloproteinase 12, 1260 ng·h/mL for lymphotoxin α1/β2, 1340 ng·h/mL for CD23, 1420 ng·h/mL for interleukin-22-binding protein, and 1600 ng·h/mL for macrophage-derived chemokine/C-C motif chemokine 22. No relationship was found between QTcF interval changes from baseline and Cmax in week 2 or 24. This analysis showed that improvements in clinical efficacy end points in week 24 and PD biomarkers in week 2 were achieved at typical vamorolone exposure of 2 mg/kg daily dose with a median AUC dose of 6 mg/kg (3651 ng·h/mL), corresponding to approximately 95% of maximum effects for most response variables.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02760264 NCT02760277.

Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD); children; exposure-response; glucocorticoids; pharmacodynamics; vamorolone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Heart Conduction System / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / drug therapy*
  • Pregnadienediols / administration & dosage*
  • Pregnadienediols / adverse effects
  • Pregnadienediols / pharmacokinetics*
  • Pregnadienediols / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Pregnadienediols
  • VBP15 compound

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02760264
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02760277