Introduction: Subcutaneous (SC) injection is a common route of drug administration; however, injection site pain (ISP) might create a negative patient experience. We evaluated ISP, bioequivalence, and overall safety of the citrate-free (CF) formulation of ixekizumab, a high-affinity monoclonal antibody that selectively targets interleukin-17A.
Methods: Two phase 1, single-blind studies were conducted in healthy participants. The crossover study A (NCT03848403) evaluated pain intensity on injection as measured by visual analog scale of pain (VAS) scores. Subjects (N = 70) were randomized 1:1:1 at the beginning to three possible treatment sequences and received a 1 mL SC injection of the three formulations sequentially in the abdomen on days 1, 8, and 15, respectively. A mixed-effects repeated measures analysis model was used to analyze VAS score by time post-injection. Study B (NCT04259346) evaluated the bioequivalence of a single 80 mg dose of CF formulation compared to the original commercial formulation. Subjects (N = 245) were randomized 1:1 to either commercial or CF formulation and received a single SC injection into the abdomen, arm, or thigh.
Results: Primary endpoint was achieved in both studies. In study A, least-squares mean (LSM) difference of VAS scores immediately post injection between commercial (n = 61) and CF formulation (n = 63) was - 21.7 (p < 0.0001), indicating a lower degree of pain associated with CF formulation. In study B, bioequivalence of the CF formulation was established as 90% CIs for the ratio of geometric LSM AUC0-tlast, AUC0-∞, and Cmax between treatments were contained within the prespecified limits of 0.8 and 1.25. Except for less ISP in the CF formulation, overall safety profile was comparable.
Conclusion: Ixekizumab CF formulation proved to be bioequivalent, was associated with less ISP, and had no other notable differences in the safety profile compared to the original commercial formulation.
Keywords: Bioequivalence; Citrate-free; Injection site pain; Ixekizumab.
© 2022. The Author(s).