Publications by authors named "Marieke L de Kam"

52 Publications

Intradermal lipopolysaccharide challenge as an acute in vivo inflammatory model in healthy volunteers.

Br J Clin Pharmacol 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Aims: Whereas intravenous administration of Toll-like receptor 4 ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to human volunteers is frequently used in clinical pharmacology studies, systemic use of LPS has practical limitations. We aimed to characterize the intradermal LPS response in healthy volunteers, and as such qualify the method as local inflammation model for clinical pharmacology studies.

Methods: Eighteen healthy male volunteers received 2 or 4 intradermal 10 ng LPS injections and 1 saline injection on the forearms. The LPS response was evaluated by noninvasive (perfusion, skin temperature and erythema) and invasive assessments (cellular and cytokine responses) in skin biopsy and blister exudate.

Results: LPS elicited a visible response and returned to baseline at 48 hours. Erythema, perfusion and temperature were statistically significant (P < .0001) over a 24-hour time course compared to saline. The protein response was dominated by an acute interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8 and tumour necrosis factor response followed by IL-1β, IL-10 and interferon-γ. The cellular response consisted of an acute neutrophil influx followed by different monocyte subsets and dendritic cells.

Discussion: Intradermal LPS administration in humans causes an acute, localized and transient inflammatory reaction that is well-tolerated by healthy volunteers. This may be a valuable inflammation model for evaluating the pharmacological activity of anti-inflammatory investigational compounds in proof of pharmacology studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bcp.14999DOI Listing
July 2021

Biperiden Challenge Model in Healthy Elderly as Proof-of-Pharmacology Tool: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

J Clin Pharmacol 2021 May 21. Epub 2021 May 21.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Selective M muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) agonists are being developed as symptomatic treatment for neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders that lead to cognitive dysfunction. Demonstrating cognition-enhancing effects in early-phase clinical development in healthy subjects is difficult. A challenge with the M mAChR antagonist biperiden could be used to demonstrate procognitive and pharmacological effects of selective M mAChR agonists. The aim of this study was to develop such a model. To this end, 12 healthy elderly subjects participated in a randomized, placebo-controlled, 3-way crossover study investigating tolerability, pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) effects of 2 and 4 mg biperiden. Repeated PD assessments were performed using neurocognitive tasks and electrophysiological measurements. A population PK-PD model was developed. Four milligrams of biperiden showed significant impairment of sustained attention (-2.1 percentage point in adaptive tracking [95%CI, -3.043 to -1.148], verbal memory (2-3 fewer words recalled [95%CI, -5.9 to -0.2]) and working memory (up to a 50-millisecond increase in the n-back task reaction time [95%CI, 21.854-77.882]) compared with placebo. The PK data were best fitted by a 2-compartment model and showed high interoccasion and intersubject variability. Population PK-PD analysis quantified significant concentration-effect relationships for the n-back reaction time, n-back accuracy, and adaptive tracking. In conclusion, biperiden caused M mAChR-related dose- and concentration-dependent temporary declines in cognitive functioning. Therefore a biperiden pharmacological challenge model can be used for proof-of-pharmacology studies and to demonstrate cognition-enhancing effects of new cholinergic compounds that are being developed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcph.1913DOI Listing
May 2021

A randomized single and multiple ascending dose study in healthy volunteers of LTI-291, a centrally penetrant glucocerebrosidase activator.

Br J Clin Pharmacol 2021 Sep 2;87(9):3561-3573. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Aims: A mutation in the GBA1 gene is the most common genetic risk factor for developing Parkinson's disease. GBA1 encodes the lysosomal enzyme glucosylceramidase beta (glucocerebrosidase, GCase) and mutations decrease enzyme activity. LTI-291 is an allosteric modulator of GCase, enhancing its activity. These first-in-human studies evaluated the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of single and multiple ascending doses of LTI-291 in healthy volunteers.

Methods: In the single ascending dose (SAD) study, 40 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to LTI-291 (n = 8 per dose level) or placebo (n = 2 per dose level). Single doses of 3, 10, 30 and 90 mg LTI-291 were investigated. In the multiple ascending dose (MAD) study, 40 healthy middle-aged or elderly volunteers were randomly assigned to LTI-291 (n = 8 per dose level) or placebo (n = 2 per dose level). Fourteen consecutive daily doses of 3, 10, 30 and 60 mg LTI-291 or placebo were administered. In both the SAD and MAD studies, glycosphingolipid levels were measured and a test battery of neurocognitive tasks was performed.

Results: LTI-291 was generally well tolerated and no deaths or treatment-related SAEs occurred and no subject withdrew from a study due to AEs. C , AUC and AUC increased in a dose proportional manner. The median half-life was 28.0 hours after multiple dosing. No dose-dependent glycosphingolipid changes occurred. No neurocognitive adverse effects were detected.

Conclusions: These first-in-human studies demonstrated that LTI-291 was well tolerated when given orally once daily for 14 consecutive days. This supports the continued clinical development and the exploration of LTI-291 effects in a GBA1-mutated Parkinson population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bcp.14772DOI Listing
September 2021

A Phase 1, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study to Evaluate the Pharmacodynamic Effects of VX-150, a Highly Selective NaV1.8 Inhibitor, in Healthy Male Adults.

Pain Med 2021 08;22(8):1814-1826

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Objective: To evaluate the analgesic potential, safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of VX-150, a pro-drug of a highly selective NaV1.8 inhibitor, in healthy subjects.

Design: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study in healthy subjects.

Subjects: Twenty healthy male subjects with an age of 18-55 years, inclusive, were enrolled. Eligibility was based on general fitness, absence of current or previous medical conditions that could compromise subject safety, and a training assessment of pain tolerance across pain tests to exclude highly tolerant individuals whose tolerance could compromise the ability to detect analgesic responses. All dosed subjects completed the study.

Methods: Subjects were randomized 1:1 to one of two sequences receiving a single VX-150 dose and subsequently placebo, or vice versa, with at least 7 days between dosing. A battery of pain tests (pressure, electrical stair, [capsaicin-induced] heat, and cold pressor) was administered before dosing and repetitively up to 10 h after dosing, with blood sampling up to 24 h after dosing. Safety was monitored throughout the study. Data were analyzed with a repeated-measures mixed-effects model.

Results: VX-150 induced analgesia in a variety of evoked pain tests, without affecting subject safety. Significant effects were reported for the cold pressor and heat pain thresholds. Maximum median concentration for the active moiety was 4.30 µg/mL at 4 h after dosing.

Conclusion: Results of this proof-of-mechanism study are supportive of the potential of VX-150, a highly selective NaV1.8 channel inhibitor, to treat various pain indications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnab032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8346919PMC
August 2021

Proof of pharmacology of Org 48775-0, a p38 MAP kinase inhibitor, in healthy volunteers.

Br J Clin Pharmacol 2021 May 23;87(5):2321-2332. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Aim: To investigate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the highly selective oral p38alpha/beta mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase inhibitor Org 48,775-0 in a first-in-human study.

Methods: In the single ascending dosing (SAD) study, an oral dose of Org 48,775-0 (0.3-600 mg) was evaluated in healthy males. In the multiple ascending dosing (MAD) study, levels of 30, 70 and 150 mg were dosed for six consecutive days, twice daily. Both studies were performed in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over fashion and evaluated pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics (ex vivo inhibition of lipopolysaccharide [LPS]-induced tumor necrosis factor (TNFα) release) and routine clinical and laboratory data. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters of Org 48,775-0 were compared between healthy males and postmenopausal females, and the effect of a standardized fat meal was evaluated.

Results: All adverse events observed in the SAD (16; dizziness and headache, diarrhoea and catheter-related phlebitis) and MAD (43; mainly somnolence, dizziness, headache and nasopharyngitis) cohorts were mild, transient and completely reversible. Pharmacokinetics were linear up to single doses of 400 mg. Median T ranged from 0.5 to 1.8 hours, geometric mean for T from 7.0 to 14.4 hours. Org 48,775-0 doses equal to and greater than 30 mg significantly inhibited LPS-induced TNFα release (42.3%; 95% CI = -65.2, -4.3) compared to placebo. In the MAD study, Org 48,775-0 treatment inhibited LPS-induced TNFα release during the entire steady-state period. Levels of inhibition amounted 30-75% for 30 mg, 53-80% for 70 mg and 77-92% for 150 mg Org 48,775-0.

Conclusion: Org 48,775-0 has the capacity to significantly inhibit MAP kinase activity in humans without safety concerns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bcp.14655DOI Listing
May 2021

Topical anti-microbial peptide omiganan recovers cutaneous dysbiosis but does not improve clinical symptoms in patients with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis in a phase 2 randomized controlled trial.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2020 Sep 30. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, the Netherlands; Department of Dermatology Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Background: Dysbiosis and colonization with Staphylococcus aureus is considered to play an important role in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD). Recovering this dysbiosis may improve AD symptoms. Omiganan is a synthetic indolicidin analogue antimicrobial peptide with activity against S. aureus and could be a viable new treatment option for AD.

Objective: To explore the tolerability, clinical efficacy and pharmacodynamics of omiganan in mild-to-moderate AD.

Methods: Eighty patients were randomized to omiganan 1%, 1.75%, 2.5% or vehicle twice daily for 28 days on all lesions. Weekly visits included clinical scores, and microbiological and pharmacodynamic assessments of one 'target lesion'.

Results: In all omiganan treatment groups dysbiosis was recovered by reducing Staphylococcus abundance and increasing diversity. A reduction of cultured S. aureus was observed in all omiganan treatment groups, with a significant reduction for omiganan 2.5% compared to vehicle (-93.5%, 95%CI=-99.2%/-28.5% p=0.02). No significant clinical improvement was observed.

Conclusion: Topical administration of omiganan twice daily for up to 28 days in patients with mild-to-moderate AD led to a recovery of dysbiosis, but without clinical improvement. Therefore, a mono-treatment that selectively targets the microbiome does not appear to be a successful treatment strategy in mild-to-moderate AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2020.08.132DOI Listing
September 2020

Finding Suitable Clinical Endpoints for a Potential Treatment of a Rare Genetic Disease: the Case of ARID1B.

Neurotherapeutics 2020 07;17(3):1300-1310

Centre for Human Drug Research, Zernikedreef 8, 2333 CL, Leiden, the Netherlands.

There is a lack of reliable, repeatable, and non-invasive clinical endpoints when investigating treatments for intellectual disability (ID). The aim of this study is to explore a novel approach towards developing new endpoints for neurodevelopmental disorders, in this case for ARID1B-related ID. In this study, twelve subjects with ARID1B-related ID and twelve age-matched controls were included in this observational case-control study. Subjects performed a battery of non-invasive neurobehavioral and neurophysiological assessments on two study days. Test domains included cognition, executive functioning, and eye tracking. Furthermore, several electrophysiological assessments were performed. Subjects wore a smartwatch (Withings® Steel HR) for 6 days. Tests were systematically assessed regarding tolerability, variability, repeatability, difference with control group, and correlation with traditional endpoints. Animal fluency, adaptive tracking, body sway, and smooth pursuit eye movements were assessed as fit-for-purpose regarding all criteria, while physical activity, heart rate, and sleep parameters show promise as well. The event-related potential waveform of the passive oddball and visual evoked potential tasks showed discriminatory ability, but EEG assessments were perceived as extremely burdensome. This approach successfully identified fit-for-purpose candidate endpoints for ARID1B-related ID and possibly for other neurodevelopmental disorders. Next, results could be replicated in different ID populations or the assessments could be included as exploratory endpoint in interventional trials in ARID1B-related ID.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13311-020-00868-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7609730PMC
July 2020

Pharmacodynamic Effects of Topical Omiganan in Patients With Mild to Moderate Atopic Dermatitis in a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Phase II Trial.

Clin Transl Sci 2020 09 1;13(5):994-1003. Epub 2020 May 1.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Omiganan is an indolicidin analog with antimicrobial properties that could be beneficial for patients with atopic dermatitis. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase II trial we explored the efficacy, pharmacodynamics, and safety of topical omiganan once daily in 36 patients with mild to moderate atomic dermatitis. Patients were randomized to apply topical omiganan 1%, omiganan 2.5%, or vehicle gel to one target lesion once daily for 28 consecutive days. Small but significant improvements in local objective SCORing Atopic Dematitis index and morning itch were observed in the omiganan 2.5% group compared with the vehicle gel group (-18.5%; 95% confidence interval, -32.9 to -1.0; P = 0.04; and -8.2; 95% confidence interval, -16.3 to -0.2; P = 0.05, respectively). A shift from lesional to nonlesional skin microbiota was observed in both omiganan treatment groups, in contrast to the vehicle group. Thus, treatment with topical omiganan improved dysbiosis in patients with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis, and small but statistically significant improvements in clinical scores were detected. Our findings warrant further exploration in future clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cts.12792DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7485951PMC
September 2020

The Optimal Imaging Window for Dysplastic Colorectal Polyp Detection Using c-Met-Targeted Fluorescence Molecular Endoscopy.

J Nucl Med 2020 10 20;61(10):1435-1441. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Fluorescence molecular endoscopy (FME) is an emerging technique that has the potential to improve the 22% colorectal polyp detection miss-rate. We determined the optimal dose-to-imaging interval and safety of FME using EMI-137, a c-Met-targeted fluorescent peptide, in a population at high risk for colorectal cancer. We performed in vivo FME and quantification of fluorescence by multidiameter single-fiber reflectance/single-fiber fluorescence spectroscopy in 15 patients with a dysplastic colorectal adenoma. EMI-137 was intravenously administered (0.13 mg/kg) at a 1-, 2- or 3-h dose-to-imaging interval ( = 3 patients per cohort). Two cohorts were expanded to 6 patients on the basis of target-to-background ratios. Fluorescence was correlated to histopathology and c-Met expression. EMI-137 binding specificity was assessed by fluorescence microscopy and in vitro experiments. FME using EMI-137 appeared to be safe and well tolerated. All dose-to-imaging intervals showed significantly higher fluorescence in the colorectal lesions than in surrounding tissue, with a target-to-background ratio of 1.53, 1.66, and 1.74 for the 1-, 2-, and 3-h cohorts, respectively, and a mean intrinsic fluorescence of 0.035 vs. 0.023 mm ( < 0.0003), 0.034 vs. 0.021 mm ( < 0.0001), and 0.033 vs. 0.019 mm ( < 0.0001), respectively. Fluorescence correlated with histopathology on a macroscopic and microscopic level, with significant c-Met overexpression in dysplastic mucosa. In vitro, a dose-dependent specific binding was confirmed. FME using EMI-137 appeared to be safe and feasible within a 1- to 3-h dose-to-imaging interval. No clinically significant differences were observed among the cohorts, although a 1-h dose-to-imaging interval was preferred from a clinical perspective. Future studies will investigate EMI-137 for improved colorectal polyp detection during screening colonoscopies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2967/jnumed.119.238790DOI Listing
October 2020

Immunomonitoring of Tacrolimus in Healthy Volunteers: The First Step from PK- to PD-Based Therapeutic Drug Monitoring?

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Sep 23;20(19). Epub 2019 Sep 23.

Centre for Human Drug Research, 2333 CL, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Therapeutic drug monitoring is routinely performed to maintain optimal tacrolimus concentrations in kidney transplant recipients. Nonetheless, toxicity and rejection still occur within an acceptable concentration-range. To have a better understanding of the relationship between tacrolimus dose, tacrolimus concentration, and its effect on the target cell, we developed functional immune tests for the quantification of the tacrolimus effect. Twelve healthy volunteers received a single dose of tacrolimus, after which intracellular and whole blood tacrolimus concentrations were measured and were related to T cell functionality. A significant correlation was found between tacrolimus concentrations in T cells and whole blood concentrations (r = 0.71, = 0.009), while no correlation was found between tacrolimus concentrations in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and whole blood (r = 0.35, = 0.27). Phytohemagglutinin (PHA) induced the production of IL-2 and IFNγ, as well as the inhibition of CD71 and CD154 expression on T cells at 1.5 h post-dose, when maximum tacrolimus levels were observed. Moreover, the in vitro tacrolimus effect of the mentioned markers corresponded with the ex vivo effect after dosing. In conclusion, our results showed that intracellular tacrolimus concentrations mimic whole blood concentrations, and that PHA-induced cytokine production (IL-2 and IFNγ) and activation marker expression (CD71 and CD154) are suitable readout measures to measure the immunosuppressive effect of tacrolimus on the T cell.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194710DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6801784PMC
September 2019

Effect of Food on the Pharmacokinetics of 2 Formulations of DRL-17822, a Novel Selective Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein (CETP) Inhibitor, in Healthy Males.

Clin Pharmacol Drug Dev 2019 11 10;8(8):1042-1052. Epub 2019 Jun 10.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.

DRL-17822 is a novel selective cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitor that showed an increased exposure, including an increase of >20-fold of maximum concentration and area under the plasma concentration-time curve from time zero to the time of the last quantifiable concentration, following a high-fat breakfast using a nanocrystal formulation. To reduce this effect of food, we generated an amorphous solid dispersion formulation. In this study, we compared the food effect of both formulations of DRL-17822 in a 2-part randomized, open-label, 4-way crossover study involving healthy adult males 18-45 years of age. In both parts of the study, 12 subjects received both formulations of DRL-17822 in both the fasted and fed states; a low-fat breakfast was provided in the first part and a high-fat breakfast in the second part. Compared to the nanocrystal formulation, the amorphous solid dispersion formulation substantially increased DRL-17822 exposure in the fasted state, including increased maximum concentration, area under the plasma concentration-time curve from time zero to the time of the last quantifiable concentration, and area under plasma concentration-time curve from time zero to infinity. Following a high-fat breakfast, DRL-17822 exposure was increased to a lesser extent in the amorphous solid dispersion formulation compared to the nanocrystal formulation (P < .001). Moreover, compared to the nanocrystal formulation the amorphous solid dispersion formulation caused a more pronounced increase in high-density lipoprotein in the fasted state. Consuming breakfast increased the effect of DRL-17822 on high-density lipoprotein. Taken together, our results indicate that by improving its formulation, DRL-17822 has a favorable exposure profile and therefore a more predictable food effect profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cpdd.707DOI Listing
November 2019

No synergistic effect of subtherapeutic doses of donepezil and EVP-6124 in healthy elderly subjects in a scopolamine challenge model.

Alzheimers Dement (N Y) 2019 1;5:89-98. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Introduction: Donepezil is a widely used cholinesterase inhibitor in the management of Alzheimer's disease. Despite large-scaled evidence for its efficacy, elevated peripheral ACh levels often lead to side effects and are dose limiting. The present exploratory study is designed to determine the potentiation of the effects of donepezil by cotreatment with EVP-6124, an alpha-7 nicotinic agonist, to reduce scopolamine-induced cognitive deficits in healthy elderly subjects. Secondary objectives are to explore safety and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics effects of EVP-6124 alone and in combination with donepezil compared to placebo.

Methods: A phase I randomized, single-center, placebo-controlled, double-blind, five-way, partial crossover study was performed with donepezil 2.5, 5 mg or placebo combined with EVP-6124 0.3, 1, 2, 4 mg or placebo in three cohorts of healthy elderly subjects in a scopolamine (0.3 mg i.v.) challenge test. Safety, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamics outcomes were assessed.

Results: A total of 36 subjects completed the study. Donepezil pharmacokinetic parameters were similar with and without EVP-6124. Effective dose combinations were donepezil/EVP-6124(5/2 mg) and donepezil/EVP-6124 (5/0.3 mg) and showed improvements of the delayed recall of the Visual Verbal Learning Test (1.2; CI = 0.1-2.3) and reaction time during the two-back condition of the N-back (-42; CI = -77, -8), respectively. Overall, no marked reversal of scopolamine effects was observed.

Discussion: This study shows no synergistic effect of subtherapeutic doses of donepezil and EVP-6124 in a scopolamine challenge model in healthy elderly subjects. Dosing of scopolamine and the combination of donepezil and EVP-6124 requires further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trci.2019.02.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6446049PMC
April 2019

Evaluation of simulated driving in comparison to laboratory-based tests to assess the pharmacodynamics of alprazolam and alcohol.

J Psychopharmacol 2019 07 26;33(7):791-800. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

1 Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Rationale: Assessment of the effects of medicines on the risks of car driving must be derived from laboratory tests, simulated driving or real on-road driving tests. Relevance of tests is determined by their sensitivity and predictive ability for the probability of accidents or damage. This cannot be determined directly, but methods should be able to at least detect the effects of a positive control in dosage known to be clearly associated with increased risk.

Objectives: A driving simulator was evaluated in comparison with a battery of validated tests of CNS performance, the NeuroCart®. Alcohol in a concentration exactly at the legal limit (0.5 g L) and well above (1.0 g L) as well as alprazolam (1 mg) was used as positive control.

Methods: This was a randomised, cross-over study using a double dummy blinded design in 24 healthy study subjects (12 M, 12 F) aged 20-43 years. Alcohol was infused intravenously using a validated clamping protocol to obtain concentrations of 0.5 g L and on another occasion 1.0 g L. Alprazolam was given orally. Driving tests and lab tests were done at regular time intervals during a study day.

Results: Alprazolam and alcohol significantly affected the main parameters of driving in the simulator and affected scores of safe driving and alprazolam increased the odds ratio of a virtual crash. Several laboratory measurements of psychomotor performance were affected by the reference substances as expected and correlated significantly with the driving performance.

Conclusions: The driving simulator can detect effects of reference substances at levels that are known to negatively affect driving.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269881119836198DOI Listing
July 2019

The ultraviolet B inflammation model: Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation and validation of a reduced UVB exposure paradigm for inducing hyperalgesia in healthy subjects.

Eur J Pain 2019 05 1;23(5):874-883. Epub 2019 Feb 1.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Pain models are commonly used in drug development to demonstrate analgesic activity in healthy subjects and should therefore not cause long-term adverse effects. The ultraviolet B (UVB) model is a model for inflammatory pain in which three times the minimal erythema dose (3MED) is typically applied to induce sensitization. Based on reports of long-lasting postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) associated with 3MED, it was decided to investigate the prevalence of PIH among subjects who were previously exposed to 3MED at our research centre. In addition, re-evaluation of the UVB inflammation model using a reduced exposure paradigm (2MED) was performed in healthy subjects.

Methods: In the first study, all 142 subjects previously exposed to 3MED UVB were invited for a clinical evaluation of PIH. In the second study, 18 healthy subjects were exposed to 2MED UVB, and heat pain detection threshold (PDT) and PIH were evaluated.

Results: In total, 78 of the 142 subjects responded. The prevalence of PIH among responders was 53.8%. In the second study, we found a significant and stable difference in PDT between UVB-exposed and control skin 3 hr after irradiation; 13 hr post-irradiation, the least squares mean estimate of the difference in PDT ranged from -2.6°C to -4.5°C (p < 0.0001). Finally, the prevalence of PIH was lower in the 2MED group compared to the 3MED group.

Conclusions: The 3MED model is associated with a relatively high prevalence of long-lasting PIH. In contrast, 2MED exposure produces stable hyperalgesia and has a lower risk of PIH and is therefore recommended for modelling inflammatory pain.

Significance: Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation is an unwanted long-term side effect associated with the UVB inflammation model using the 3× minimal erythema dose (3MED) paradigm. In contrast, using a 2MED paradigm results in hyperalgesia that is stable for 36 hr and has a lower risk of inducing postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejp.1353DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6590423PMC
May 2019

Population Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Analysis of Nociceptive Pain Models Following an Oral Pregabalin Dose Administration to Healthy Subjects.

CPT Pharmacometrics Syst Pharmacol 2018 09 13;7(9):573-580. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

A battery of pain models can be used in clinical trials to investigate the efficacy and to establish the concentration-effect relationship of novel analgesics. This study quantified the pharmacokinetics (PK) of pregabalin after a single oral dose of 300 mg and the pharmacodynamics (PD) on the pain tolerance threshold (PTT) of the cold pressor, electrical stimulation, the pressure pain model, and on the pain detection threshold of a contact heat pain model. The PK were best described using a one-compartment model with lag time, linear absorption, and linear elimination. The PTT of the cold pressor showed a negative linear decrease over time without pregabalin. A linear drug effect was identified on the PTT of the cold pressor test and an on/off effect for the electrical stimulation PTT. No PK/PD relationship could be identified on the pressure pain and heat pain test. Citation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/psp4.12318DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6157667PMC
September 2018

Evaluating Fitness to Perform in Surgical Residents after Night Shifts and Alcohol Intoxication: The development of a "Fit-to-Perform" test.

J Surg Educ 2018 Jul - Aug;75(4):968-977. Epub 2018 Feb 2.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands; Department of Surgery, Haaglanden Medical Centre, The Hague, The Netherlands; Department of Surgery, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Objective: To develop a self-test to measure clinical fitness to perform in surgical residents, with alcohol-induced impairment as reference.

Design: Observational, exploratory study to evaluate night shift-induced impaired performance in surgical residents followed by a randomized blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover study to evaluate impaired performance as a result of ethanol intoxication. Impairment was quantified using the Mini-NeuroCart, a psychomotor and cognitive test battery for assessment of subjective and objective measures of alertness, concentration, eye-hand coordination, mood, and self-assessed ability to perform. Surgical performance was tested in the randomized study with a laparoscopy surgical trainer.

Settings: Level-I trauma hospital and a clinical research unit.

Participants: Surgical residents (n = 12 for the observational study, n = 18 for the randomized study).

Results: High alcohol levels (0.6gL) impaired adaptive tracking, reduced objective and subjective alertness, and increased slowness. Moreover, laparoscopy depth perception was impaired in the 0.6gL group. No significant within-subject correlation between subjective and objective measures of alertness was found. Performance of postcall surgeons was similar to, or even worse than, the performance of intoxicated surgeons.

Conclusions: The Mini-NeuroCart detected ethanol-induced performance effects that were similar to the effects of working a 14-hour night shift. Social (ethanol), personal (mood), and professional (laparoscopic skills) standards of fitness can in this manner be related to accepted deleterious effects of alcohol. The Mini-NeuroCart is, therefore, a potential noninvasive test for assessing "fitntness to perform" in healthcare professionals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2018.01.010DOI Listing
August 2019

Erythropoietin on cycling performance - Authors' reply.

Lancet Haematol 2017 10;4(10):e462-e464

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, Netherlands; Department of Internal Medicine, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(17)30181-3DOI Listing
October 2017

Effects of erythropoietin on cycling performance of well trained cyclists: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial.

Lancet Haematol 2017 Aug 29;4(8):e374-e386. Epub 2017 Jun 29.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, Netherlands; Department of Internal Medicine, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, Netherlands.

Background: Substances that potentially enhance performance (eg, recombinant human erythropoietin [rHuEPO]) are considered doping and are therefore forbidden in sports; however, the scientific evidence behind doping is frequently weak. We aimed to determine the effects of rHuEPO treatment in well trained cyclists on maximal, submaximal, and race performance and on safety, and to present a model clinical study for doping research on other substances.

Methods: We did this double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial at the Centre for Human Drug Research in Leiden (Netherlands). We enrolled healthy, well trained but non-professional male cyclists aged 18-50 years and randomly allocated (1:1) them to receive abdominal subcutaneous injections of rHuEPO (epoetin β; mean dose 6000 IU per week) or placebo (0·9% NaCl) for 8 weeks. Randomisation was stratified by age groups (18-34 years and 35-50 years), with a code generated by a statistician who was not masked to the study. The primary outcome was exercise performance, measured as maximal power output (Pmax), maximal oxygen consumption VO max, and gross efficiency in maximal exercise tests with 25 W increments per 5 min, as lactate threshold and ventilatory threshold 1 (VT1) and 2 (VT2) at submaximal levels during the maximal exercise test, and as mean power, VO, and heart rate in the submaximal exercise tests at the highest mean power output for 45 min in a laboratory setting and in a race to the Mont Ventoux (France) summit, using intention-to-treat analyses. The trial is registered with the Dutch Trial Registry (Nederlands Trial Register), number NTR5643.

Findings: Between March 7, 2016, and April 13, 2016, we randomly assigned 48 participants to the rHuEPO group (n=24) or the placebo group (n=24). Mean haemoglobin concentration (9·6 mmol/L vs 9·0 mmol/L [estimated difference 0·6, 95% CI 0·4 to 0·8]) and maximal power output (351·55 W vs 341·23 W [10·32, 3·47 to 17·17]), and VO max (60·121 mL/min per kg vs 57·415 mL/min per kg [2·707, 0·911 to 4·503]) in a maximal exercise test were higher in the rHuEPO group compared with the placebo group. Submaximal exercise test parameters mean power output (283·18 W vs 277·28 W [5·90, -0·87 to 12·67]) and VO (50·288 mL/min per kg vs 49·642 mL/min per kg [0·646, -1·307 to 2·600]) at day 46, and Mont Ventoux race times (1 h 40 min 32 s vs 1 h 40 min 15 s [0·3%, -8·3 to 9·6]) did not differ between groups. All adverse events were grade 1-2 and were similar between both groups. No events of grade 3 or worse were observed.

Interpretation: Although rHuEPO treatment improved a laboratory test of maximal exercise, the more clinically relevant submaximal exercise test performance and road race performance were not affected. This study shows that clinical studies with doping substances can be done adequately and safely and are relevant in determining effects of alleged performance-enhancing drugs.

Funding: Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(17)30105-9DOI Listing
August 2017

The use of a battery of pain models to detect analgesic properties of compounds: a two-part four-way crossover study.

Br J Clin Pharmacol 2017 05 9;83(5):976-990. Epub 2017 Jan 9.

Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR), Leiden, The Netherlands.

Aim: The aim was to investigate the ability of a battery of pain models to detect analgesic properties of commonly used analgesics in healthy subjects.

Methods: The battery consisted of tests eliciting electrical, mechanical and thermal (contact heat and cold pressor)-pain and included a UVB model, the thermal grill illusion and a paradigm of conditioned pain modulation. Subjects were administered fentanyl 3 μg kg , phenytoin 300 mg, (S)-ketamine 10 mg and placebo (part I), or imipramine 100 mg, pregabalin 300 mg, ibuprofen 600 mg and placebo (part II). Pain measurements were performed at baseline and up to 10 h post-dose. Endpoints were analysed using a mixed model analysis of variance.

Results: Sixteen subjects (8 female) completed each part. The pain tolerance threshold (PTT) for electrical stimulation was increased (all P < 0.05) compared to placebo for (S)-ketamine (+10.1%), phenytoin (+8.5%) and pregabalin (+10.8%). The PTT for mechanical pain was increased by pregabalin (+14.1%). The cold pressor PTT was increased by fentanyl (+17.1%) and pregabalin (+46.4%). Normal skin heat pain detection threshold was increased by (S)-ketamine (+3.3%), fentanyl (+2.8%) and pregabalin (+4.1%). UVB treated skin pain detection threshold was increased by fentanyl (+2.6%) and ibuprofen (+4.0%). No differences in conditioned pain modulation were observed.

Conclusion: This study shows that these pain models are able to detect changes in pain thresholds after administration of different classes of analgesics in healthy subjects. The analgesic compounds all showed a unique profile in their effects on the pain tasks administered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bcp.13183DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5401986PMC
May 2017

Pharmacological interactions between brivaracetam and ethanol in healthy males.

J Psychopharmacol 2017 07 20;31(7):915-926. Epub 2016 Sep 20.

2 UCB Pharma, Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium.

This double-blind, randomized, three-way crossover study explored the potential pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions between ethanol and brivaracetam in 18 healthy males, as required for the development of CNS-active drugs. Subjects received (A) ethanol+brivaracetam, (B) ethanol placebo+brivaracetam and (C) ethanol+brivaracetam placebo. Ethanol was infused as a 5.5-hour intravenous clamp with the first 0.5-hour as loading phase to a target level of 0.6 g/L, and brivaracetam was orally administered as a single 200 mg dose. No relevant pharmacokinetic interactions were observed. Co-administration of brivaracetam and ethanol resulted in decreased saccadic peak velocity, smooth pursuit, adaptive tracking and VAS alertness, and increased body sway, saccadic reaction time and VAS score for ethanol effect compared with brivaracetam alone or ethanol alone. Additionally, the immediate word recall scores were generally lower when brivaracetam was co-administered with ethanol, whereas the delayed word test did not show clear additional effects. A post-hoc exploratory analysis for supra-additivity suggested that most pharmacodynamic effects were likely to be additive in nature, except for adaptive tracking, which appeared to be slightly supra-additive. In conclusion, brivaracetam increased ethanol effects on psychomotor function, attention and memory in healthy males. Intake of brivaracetam with alcohol is not recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269881116665326DOI Listing
July 2017

The effects of the nonselective benzodiazepine lorazepam and the α2 /α3 subunit-selective GABAA receptor modulators AZD7325 and AZD6280 on plasma prolactin levels.

Clin Pharmacol Drug Dev 2015 03 28;4(2):149-54. Epub 2014 Aug 28.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Compounds with selectivity for GABAA receptor subtypes may differ significantly from nonselective benzodiazepines in their dopaminergic effects in vivo. To explore the exact role of the GABAA receptor subtypes in the regulation of prolactin secretion and the differential effects of selective and nonselective GABA receptor modulators, the effects of the nonselective benzodiazepine lorazepam, as well as two novel α2 /α3 subunit-selective GABAA receptor modulators AZD7325 and AZD6280, on prolactin levels were measured in healthy male volunteers. Following administration of lorazepam at 2 mg doses and AZD6280 at 10 mg and 40 mg doses, prolactin levels increased significantly compared with placebo (difference 42.0%, 19.8%, and 32.8%, respectively), suggesting that the α2 and/or α3 receptor subtypes are involved in GABAergic modulation of prolactin secretion, although possible roles of the α1 and α5 receptor subtypes are not excluded. The increases in prolactin levels after administration of AZD7325 at 2 mg and 10 mg doses (difference 7.6% and 10.5%, respectively) did not reach statistical significance, suggesting that doses of AZD7325 or intrinsic efficacy at the α2 and α3 receptor subtypes may have been too low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cpdd.134DOI Listing
March 2015

Vaccination during myeloid cell depletion by cancer chemotherapy fosters robust T cell responses.

Sci Transl Med 2016 Apr;8(334):334ra52

Department of Clinical Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center, 2300 RC Leiden, Netherlands.

Therapeutic vaccination with human papillomavirus type 16 synthetic long peptides (HPV16-SLPs) results in T cell-mediated regression of HPV16-induced premalignant lesions but fails to install clinically effective immunity in patients with HPV16-positive cervical cancer. We explored whether HPV16-SLP vaccination can be combined with standard carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy to improve immunity and which time point would be optimal for vaccination. This was studied in the HPV16 E6/E7-positive TC-1 mouse tumor model and in patients with advanced cervical cancer. In mice and patients, the presence of a progressing tumor was associated with abnormal frequencies of circulating myeloid cells. Treatment of TC-1-bearing mice with chemotherapy and therapeutic vaccination resulted in superior survival and was directly related to a chemotherapy-mediated altered composition of the myeloid cell population in the blood and tumor. Chemotherapy had no effect on tumor-specific T cell responses. In advanced cervical cancer patients, carboplatin-paclitaxel also normalized the abnormal numbers of circulating myeloid cells, and this was associated with increased T cell reactivity to recall antigens. The effect was most pronounced starting 2 weeks after the second cycle of chemotherapy, providing an optimal immunological window for vaccination. This was validated with a single dose of HPV16-SLP vaccine given in this time window. The resulting proliferative HPV16-specific T cell responses were unusually strong and were retained after all cycles of chemotherapy. In conclusion, carboplatin-paclitaxel therapy fosters vigorous vaccine-induced T cell responses when vaccination is given after chemotherapy and has reset the tumor-induced abnormal myeloid cell composition to normal values.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aad8307DOI Listing
April 2016

Detection of colorectal polyps in humans using an intravenously administered fluorescent peptide targeted against c-Met.

Nat Med 2015 Aug 13;21(8):955-61. Epub 2015 Jul 13.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Colon cancer prevention currently relies on colonoscopy using white light to detect and remove polyps, but small and flat polyps are difficult to detect and frequently missed when using this technique. Fluorescence colonoscopy combined with a fluorescent probe specific for a polyp biomarker may improve polyp detection. Here we describe GE-137, a water-soluble probe consisting of a 26-amino acid cyclic peptide that binds the human tyrosine kinase c-Met conjugated to a fluorescent cyanine dye. Intravenous administration of GE-137 leads to its accumulation specifically in c-Met-expressing tumors in mice, and it is safe and well tolerated in humans. Fluorescence colonoscopy in patients receiving intravenous GE-137 enabled visualization of all neoplastic polyps that were visible with white light (38), as well as an additional nine polyps that were not visible with white light. This first-in-human pilot study shows that molecular imaging using an intravenous fluorescent agent specific for c-Met is feasible and safe, and that it may enable the detection of polyps missed by other techniques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm.3641DOI Listing
August 2015

AZD6280, a novel partial γ-aminobutyric acid A receptor modulator, demonstrates a pharmacodynamically selective effect profile in healthy male volunteers.

J Clin Psychopharmacol 2015 Feb;35(1):22-33

From the *Phase I Unit, Clinical Pharmacology Research Center (CPRC), Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, China; †Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden; and ‡VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; §AstraZeneca, R&D, Wilmington, DE; ∥Cogstate, Melbourne, Australia; and ¶Teva Pharmaceuticals, Frazer, PA.

Objective: AZD6280 is a novel γ-aminobutyric acid A receptor modulator with higher in vitro efficacy at the α2,3 subtypes as compared to the α1 and α5 subtypes. This study compared the pharmacodynamic effects of single oral dose AZD6280 10 mg and 40 mg on the central nervous system with 2 mg of lorazepam.

Methods: Sixteen healthy males were enrolled into the double-blind, randomized, 4-way crossover study. Two validated central nervous system test batteries, Neurocart and CogState, were administered to measure drug effects on cognition, neurophysiologic function, and psychomotor and subjective feelings. Statistical analysis was performed using mixed model analysis of variance, with fixed factors of treatment, period, time and treatment by time, and random factors of subject, subject by treatment and subject by time, and the average prevalue as covariate.

Results: Most pharmacodynamic parameters were affected by lorazepam. AZD6280 induced dose-dependent smaller-than-lorazepam effects on saccadic peak velocity (SPV) (AZD6280, 10 mg vs. AZD6280, 40 mg vs. lorazepam [deg/s]: -22.6 vs. -50.0 vs. -62.9, P < 0.001), whereas the impacts on adaptive-tracking, body-sway, smooth-pursuit, and the one-card-learning tests were significant but much smaller than lorazepam. Thus, the slopes of regression lines for the ΔLog(Sway)-ΔSPV, ΔTracking-ΔSPV, and ΔSmooth-ΔSPV relations were flatter with AZD6280 than with lorazepam. AZD6280 caused a distinct electroencephalography signature from that of lorazepam.

Conclusions: The SPV responses to AZD6280 suggest potential concentration-related anxiolytic effects, whereas the smaller SPV-normalized effects of AZD6280 on various non-SPV pharmacodynamic parameters suggest a more favorable side effect profile compared to lorazepam. Overall, the pharmacodynamic profile of AZD6280 matches the pharmacological specificity and selectivity of this compound at the α2,3 γ-aminobutyric acid A receptor subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JCP.0000000000000251DOI Listing
February 2015

A phase I dose-escalation and bioequivalence study of a trastuzumab biosimilar in healthy male volunteers.

Clin Drug Investig 2014 Dec;34(12):887-94

Synthon Biopharmaceuticals, Microweg 22, 6545 CN, Nijmegen, The Netherlands,

Background: Trastuzumab (Herceptin(®)) is a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and is used in the treatment of HER2-overexpressing breast and gastric cancer. FTMB is being developed as a biosimilar of trastuzumab.

Objective: In this combined dose-escalation and bioequivalence study of parallel design, the pharmacokinetic profile of FTMB was compared with Herceptin(®).

Methods: Healthy male volunteers received single doses of 0.5, 1.5, 3.0 or 6.0 mg/kg FTMB, or placebo, in consecutive dose-escalation cohorts to assess the safety profile. Thereafter, the 6 mg/kg cohort was expanded to establish bioequivalence between FTMB (Test) and Herceptin(®) (Reference) based on an acceptance interval of 80.0-125.0 %. In total, 118 subjects were enrolled in the study.

Result: The mean area under the concentration-time curve from time zero to infinity (AUC∞) was 1,609 µg·day/mL (Test) and 1,330 µg·day/mL (Reference). The log-transformed geometric mean Test/Reference (T/R) ratio for AUC∞ was 89.6 % (90 % confidence interval [CI] 85.1-94.4), demonstrating bioequivalence. For the secondary endpoint, the maximum concentration observed (Cmax), the geometric mean T/R ratio was 89.4 % (90 % CI 83.4-95.9). Non-linear, target-mediated pharmacokinetics were also observed. Adverse events other than the documented side effects of Herceptin(®) (fever, influenza-like illness, and fatigue) did not occur. No signs of cardiotoxicity were observed.

Conclusions: This bioequivalence study with a trastuzumab biosimilar in healthy male volunteers demonstrated bioequivalence of FTMB with Herceptin(®). FTMB was well tolerated in doses up to 6 mg/kg. Non-linear target elimination was also observed in the pharmacokinetic profile of trastuzumab.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40261-014-0247-5DOI Listing
December 2014

First proof of pharmacology in humans of a novel glucagon receptor antisense drug.

J Clin Pharmacol 2015 Mar 15;55(3):298-306. Epub 2014 Sep 15.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Fasting and postprandial hyperglucagonemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients cause excessive hepatic glucose production (HGP), suggesting that attenuation of hepatic glucagon action could be a therapeutic strategy for T2DM. In this study we evaluated the safety, tolerability, PK, and pharmacodynamics in healthy human volunteers of single and multiple doses (50-400 mg) ISIS 325568, a 2'-O-MOE antisense (ASO) developed to reduce hepatic glucagon receptor (GCGR) mRNA expression. In the multiple dose cohorts, treatment consisted of eight doses of ISIS 325568 or placebo over 6-weeks. Drug effects were assessed using serial fasting glucagon measurements and the glycemic response to a glucagon challenge at baseline and at the end of 6-week treatment. ISIS 325568 was not associated with clinically relevant changes. Dose-dependent predominantly mild injection site reactions were the most common side-effect. Active treatment caused a gradual increase in fasting glucagon levels and, compared to placebo, a significantly blunted glucagon-induced increase in plasma glucose AUC (24%, P < 0.0001) and HGP (13%, P = 0.007) at the 400 mg/week dose. Six weeks treatment with ISIS 325568 in healthy volunteers attenuated glucagon-stimulated HGP and glucose excursions, supporting further evaluation of the GCGR antisense approach in patients with T2DM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcph.396DOI Listing
March 2015

Evaluation of lecithinized human recombinant super oxide dismutase as cardioprotectant in anthracycline-treated breast cancer patients.

Br J Clin Pharmacol 2014 Nov;78(5):950-60

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Aim: Anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity is (partly) mediated by free radical overload. A randomized study was performed in breast cancer patients to investigate whether free radical scavenger super oxide dismutase (SOD) protects against anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity as measured by changes in echo, electrocardiography and an array of biomarkers.

Method And Results: Eighty female, chemotherapy-naïve breast cancer patients (median age 49, range 24-67 years) scheduled for four or five courses of adjuvant 3 weekly doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide (AC) chemotherapy, were randomly assigned to receive 80 mg PC-SOD (human recombinant SOD bound to lecithin) or placebo, administered intravenously (i.v.) immediately prior to each AC course. The primary end point was protection against cardiac damage evaluated using echocardiography, QT assessments and a set of biochemical markers for myocardial function, oxidative stress and inflammation. Assessments were performed before and during each course of chemotherapy, and at 1, 4 and 9 months after completion of the chemotherapy regimen. In all patients cardiac effects such as increases in NT-proBNP concentration and prolongation of the QTc interval were noticed. There were no differences between the PC-SOD and placebo-treated patients in systolic or diastolic cardiac function or for any other of the biomarkers used to assess the cardiac effects of anthracyclines.

Conclusion: PC-SOD at a dose of 80 mg i.v. is not cardioprotective in patients with breast carcinoma treated with anthracyclines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bcp.12429DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4243869PMC
November 2014

Comparison of body surface area versus weight-based growth hormone dosing for girls with Turner syndrome.

Horm Res Paediatr 2014 23;81(5):319-30. Epub 2014 Apr 23.

Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background/aims: Growth Hormone (GH) dosage in childhood is adjusted for body size, but there is no consensus whether body weight (BW) or body surface area (BSA) should be used. We aimed at comparing the biological effect and cost-effectiveness of GH treatment dosed per m2 BSA in comparison with dosing per kg BW in girls with Turner syndrome (TS).

Methods: Serum IGF-I, GH dose, and adult height gain (AHG) from girls participating in two Dutch and five Swedish studies on the efficacy of GH were analyzed, and the cumulative GH dose and costs were calculated for both dose adjustment methods. Additional medication included estrogens (if no spontaneous puberty occurred) and oxandrolone in some studies.

Results: At each GH dose, the serum IGF-I standard deviation score remained stable over time after an initial increase after the start of treatment. On a high dose (at 1 m2 equivalent to 0.056-0.067 mg/kg/day), AHG was at least equal on GH dosed per m2 BSA compared with dosing per kg BW. The cumulative dose and cost were significantly lower if the GH dose was adjusted for m2 BSA.

Conclusion: Dosing GH per m2 BSA is at least as efficacious as dosing per kg BW, and is more cost-effective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000357844DOI Listing
February 2015

Efficacy and safety of RPL554, a dual PDE3 and PDE4 inhibitor, in healthy volunteers and in patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: findings from four clinical trials.

Lancet Respir Med 2013 Nov 25;1(9):714-27. Epub 2013 Oct 25.

Verona Pharma, London, UK; Sackler Institute of Pulmonary Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College London, London, UK. Electronic address:

Background: Many patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) routinely receive a combination of an inhaled bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory glucocorticosteroid, but those with severe disease often respond poorly to these classes of drug. We assessed the efficacy and safety of a novel inhaled dual phosphodiesterase 3 (PDE3) and PDE4 inhibitor, RPL554 for its ability to act as a bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory drug.

Methods: Between February, 2009, and January, 2013, we undertook four proof-of-concept clinical trials in the Netherlands, Italy, and the UK. Nebulised RPL554 was examined in study 1 for safety in 18 healthy men who were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive an inhaled dose of RPL554 (0·003 mg/kg or 0·009 mg/kg) or placebo by a computer-generated randomisation table. Subsequently, six non-smoking men with mild allergic asthma received single doses of RPL554 (three received 0·009 mg/kg and three received 0·018 mg/kg) in an open-label, adaptive study, and then ten men with mild allergic asthma were randomly assigned to receive placebo or RPL554 (0·018 mg/kg) by a computer-generated randomisation table for an assessment of safety, bronchodilation, and bronchoprotection. Study 2 examined the reproducibility of the bronchodilator response to a daily dose of nebulised RPL554 (0·018 mg/kg) for 6 consecutive days in a single-blind (patients masked), placebo-controlled study in 12 men with clinically stable asthma. The safety and bronchodilator effect of RPL554 (0·018 mg/kg) was assessed in study 3, an open-label, placebo-controlled crossover trial, in 12 men with mild-to-moderate COPD. In study 4, a placebo-controlled crossover trial, the effect of RPL554 (0·018 mg/kg) on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory cell infiltration in induced sputum was investigated in 21 healthy men. In studies 3 and 4, randomisation was done by computer-generated permutation with a block size of two for study 3 and four for study 4. Unless otherwise stated, participants and clinicians were masked to treatment assignment. Analyses were by intention to treat. All trials were registered with EudraCT, numbers 2008-005048-17, 2011-001698-22, 2010-023573-18, and 2012-000742-34.

Findings: Safety was a primary endpoint of studies 1 and 3 and a secondary endpoint of studies 2 and 4. Overall, RPL554 was well tolerated, and adverse events were generally mild and of equal frequency between placebo and active treatment groups. Efficacy was a primary endpoint of study 2 and a secondary endpoint of studies 1 and 3. Study 1 measured change in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and provocative concentration of methacholine causing a 20% fall in FEV1 (PC20MCh) in participants with asthma. RPL554 produced rapid bronchodilation in patients with asthma with an FEV1 increase at 1 h of 520 mL (95% CI 320-720; p<0·0001), which was a 14% increase from placebo, and increased the PC20MCh by 1·5 doubling doses (95% CI 0·63-2·28; p=0·004) compared with placebo. The primary endpoint of study 2 was maximum FEV1 reached during 6 h after dosing with RPL554 in patients with asthma. RPL554 produced a similar maximum mean increase in FEV1 from placebo on day 1 (555 mL, 95% CI 442-668), day 3 (505 mL, 392-618), and day 6 (485 mL, 371-598; overall p<0·0001). A secondary endpoint of study 3 (patients with COPD) was the increase from baseline in FEV1. RPL554 produced bronchodilation with a mean maximum FEV1 increase of 17·2% (SE 5·2). In healthy individuals (study 4), the primary endpoint was percentage change in neutrophil counts in induced sputum 6 h after lipopolysaccharide challenge. RPL554 (0·018 mg/kg) did not significantly reduce the percentage of neutrophils in sputum (80·3% in the RPL554 group vs 84·2% in the placebo group; difference -3·9%, 95% CI -9·4 to 1·6, p=0·15), since RPL554 significantly reduced neutrophils (p=0·002) and total cells (p=0·002) to a similar degree.

Interpretation: In four exploratory studies, inhaled RPL554 is an effective and well tolerated bronchodilator, bronchoprotector, and anti-inflammatory drug and further studies will establish the full potential of this new drug for the treatment of patients with COPD or asthma.

Funding: Verona Pharma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(13)70187-5DOI Listing
November 2013

Abdominal visceral and subcutaneous fat increase, insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia in testicular cancer patients treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy.

Acta Oncol 2014 03 19;53(3):351-60. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Department of Clinical Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center , Leiden , The Netherlands.

Background: Testicular cancer survivors treated with chemotherapy are at increased risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). We explored acute effects of chemotherapy by assessing metabolic factors, abdominal fat volume, hepatic triglyceride content (HTC) and aortic wall stiffness.

Material And Methods: We studied 19 testicular cancer patients (age 20-54 years) before, at three and nine months after the start of chemotherapy. Blood serum was analyzed for lipids, glucose and insulin. Abdominal visceral and subcutaneous fat volume and aortic pulse wave velocity were assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques; HTC was measured by proton MR spectroscopy.

Results: Three months after start of chemotherapy visceral abdominal fat volume had significantly increased from 202 ± 141 to 237 ± 153 ml (p = 0.009) whereas body mass index and subcutaneous fat volume significantly increased nine months after treatment from 24.4 ± 4.0 to 26.4 ± 4.1 kg/m(2) (p = 0.01) and from 556 ± 394 to 668 ± 460 ml (p = 0.002) respectively. Serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and insulin also significantly increased three months after start of treatment from 4.88 ± 1.1 to 5.61 ± 1.50 mmol/l (p = 0.002), 3.31 ± 1.16 to 3.73 ± 1.41 mmol/l (p = 0.02) and 5.7 ± 4.4 to 9.6 ± 6.3 mU/ml (p = 0.03), respectively. Nine months after start of chemotherapy serum lipid and insulin concentrations had returned to baseline. HTC increased in seven of the 19 patients (36.8%) during follow-up. Aortic pulse wave velocity remained unchanged at the three time points measured.

Conclusion: Cisplatin-based chemotherapy was associated with acute insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and an immediate increase in abdominal visceral adipose tissue and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue in testicular cancer patients. A large prospective cohort study with long follow-up is warranted to characterize the time course and relationship between acutely induced obesity and hypercholesterolemia and the development of metabolic syndrome and CVD years later in individual testicular cancer survivors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/0284186X.2013.819116DOI Listing
March 2014
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