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Viral S. Kansara, Leroy W. Muya, Thomas A. Ciulla; Evaluation of Long-Lasting Potential of Suprachoroidal Axitinib Suspension Via Ocular and Systemic Disposition in Rabbits. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(7):19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.7.19.
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Axitinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is a potent inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors −1, −2 and −3. Suprachoroidal (SC) delivery of axitinib, combined with pan-VEGF inhibition activity of axitinib, has the potential to provide additional benefits compared to the current standard of care with intravitreal anti–VEGF-A agents. This study evaluated the ocular pharmacokinetics and systemic disposition of axitinib after SC administration in rabbits.
Rabbits received axitinib as either a single SC injection (0.03, 0.10, 1.00, or 4.00 mg/eye; n = 4/group) or a single intravitreal injection (1 mg/eye; n = 4/group) in three separate studies. Axitinib concentrations were measured in several ocular compartments and in plasma at predetermined timepoints for up to 91 days. The pharmacokinetics parameters were estimated by noncompartmental analysis.
A single SC injection of axitinib suspension (1 mg/eye) resulted in an 11-fold higher mean axitinib exposure in the posterior eye cup, compared with intravitreal injection. Sustained levels of axitinib in the retinal pigment epithelium–choroid–sclera (RCS) and retina were observed throughout the duration of studies after a single SC axitinib injection (0.1 and 4.0 mg/eye), with low exposure in the vitreous humor, aqueous humor, and plasma. Axitinib levels in the RCS were 3 to 5 log orders higher than the reported in vitro (VEGF receptor–2 autophosphorylation inhibition) 50% inhibitory concentration value after 0.1 and 4.0 mg/eye dose levels throughout the 65-day and 91-day studies, respectively.
This study demonstrates that SC axitinib suspension has a favorable pharmacokinetics profile with potential as a long-acting therapeutic candidate targeted to affected choroid and retinal pigment epithelium in neovascular age-related macular degeneration.
Suprachoroidal axitinib suspension has potential to decrease the treatment burden in neovascular age-related macular degeneration, as a long-acting therapeutic candidate, and could yield greater efficacy, as a potent tyrosine kinase pan-VEGF inhibitor, compared with current standard anti-VEGF-A therapies.
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