Caterina Bissantz, Claudia Zampaloni, Pascale David-Pierson, Guennaelle Dieppois, Andreas Guenther, Andrej Trauner, Lotte Winther, William Stubbings

Translational PK/PD for the Development of Novel Antibiotics—A Drug Developer’s Perspective

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology

Antibiotic development traditionally involved large Phase 3 programs, preceded by Phase 2 studies. Recognizing the high unmet medical need for new antibiotics and, in some cases, challenges to conducting large clinical trials, regulators created a streamlined clinical development pathway in which a lean clinical efficacy dataset is complemented by nonclinical data as supportive evidence of efficacy. In this context, translational Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) plays a key role and is a major contributor to a “robust” nonclinical package. The classical PK/PD index approach, proven successful for established classes of antibiotics, is at the core of recent antibiotic approvals and the current antibacterial PK/PD guidelines by regulators. Nevertheless, in the case of novel antibiotics with a novel Mechanism of Action (MoA), there is no prior experience with the PK/PD index approach as the basis for translating nonclinical efficacy to clinical outcome, and additional nonclinical studies and PK/PD analyses might be considered to increase confidence. In this review, we discuss the value and limitations of the classical PK/PD approach and present potential risk mitigation activities, including the introduction of a semi-mechanism-based PK/PD modeling approach. We propose a general nonclinical PK/PD package from which drug developers might choose the studies most relevant for each individual candidate in order to build up a “robust” nonclinical PK/PD understanding.

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