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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Evaluation of a pediatric liquid formulation to improve 6-mercaptopurine therapy in children

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BACKGROUND: 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), a key drug for treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), has until recently had no adequate formulation for pediatric patients. Several approaches have been taken but the only oral paraben-free 6-MP liquid formulation named Loulla was developed and evaluated in the target population. Preclinical and clinical evaluations were performed according to a Pediatric Investigation Plan, in order to apply for a Pediatric Use Marketing Authorization.

METHODS: The pre-clinical study assessed the maximum tolerated dosage-volume and evaluated local mucosal toxicity of 28 daily administrations in treated compared to controls gold hamsters. The multi-centre clinical study was single-dose, open-label, crossover trial, conducted in 15 ALL children during maintenance therapy. The bioavailability and palatability of a single 50mg fixed dose of Loulla compared to 50mg registered tablets were evaluated in a random order on two consecutive days. Seven blood samples over 9h were obtained each day to determine 6-MP pharmacokinetic parameters, including Tmax, Cmax, AUC0-9 and AUC0-∞. A questionnaire adapted to children testing Loulla palatability and preference for either Loulla or the usual 6-MP tablet was completed. Occurrence of adverse events was determined at study visits by vital sign measurements, patient's spontaneous reporting, investigator's questioning and clinical examination.

RESULTS: The preclinical study in gold hamsters showed that dosage-volume of 75mg/kg/day was well tolerated. The relative bioavailability of liquid Loulla formulation compared to the reference presentation is 76% for AUC0-9 and AUC0-∞ and 80% for Cmax. The taste of Loulla and the mouth feeling after ingestion compare favorably to the tablet. No adverse event occurred.

CONCLUSION: Pharmacokinetic, palatability and safety data support the use of Loulla in children.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2016

ID: 46275660