The Pharmacokinetics, Metabolism, and Clearance Mechanisms of Abrocitinib, a Selective Janus Kinase Inhibitor, in Humans

Drug Metab Dispos. 2022 Aug;50(8):1106-1118. doi: 10.1124/dmd.122.000829. Epub 2022 Jun 14.


Abrocitinib is an oral once-daily Janus kinase 1 selective inhibitor being developed for the treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis. This study examined the disposition of abrocitinib in male participants following oral and intravenous administration using accelerator mass spectroscopy methodology to estimate pharmacokinetic parameters and characterize metabolite (M) profiles. The results indicated abrocitinib had a systemic clearance of 64.2 L/h, a steady-state volume of distribution of 100 L, extent of absorption >90%, time to maximum plasma concentration of ∼0.5 hours, and absolute oral bioavailability of 60%. The half-life of both abrocitinib and total radioactivity was similar, with no indication of metabolite accumulation. Abrocitinib was the main circulating drug species in plasma (∼26%), with 3 major monohydroxylated metabolites (M1, M2, and M4) at >10%. Oxidative metabolism was the primary route of elimination for abrocitinib, with the greatest disposition of radioactivity shown in the urine (∼85%). In vitro phenotyping indicated abrocitinib cytochrome P450 fraction of metabolism assignments of 0.53 for CYP2C19, 0.30 for CYP2C9, 0.11 for CYP3A4, and ∼0.06 for CYP2B6. The principal systemic metabolites M1, M2, and M4 were primarily cleared renally. Abrocitinib, M1, and M2 showed pharmacology with similar Janus kinase 1 selectivity, whereas M4 was inactive. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: This study provides a detailed understanding of the disposition and metabolism of abrocitinib, a Janus kinase inhibitor for atopic dermatitis, in humans, as well as characterization of clearance pathways and pharmacokinetics of abrocitinib and its metabolites.

Trial registration: NCT03250039.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors* / administration & dosage
  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors* / pharmacokinetics
  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors* / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Pyrimidines* / administration & dosage
  • Pyrimidines* / pharmacokinetics
  • Pyrimidines* / pharmacology
  • Sulfonamides* / administration & dosage
  • Sulfonamides* / pharmacokinetics
  • Sulfonamides* / pharmacology


  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyrimidines
  • Sulfonamides
  • abrocitinib
  • Janus Kinase 1

Associated data