Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of E3024, a Novel and Selective Dipeptidyl Peptidase-IV Inhibitor, in Healthy Japanese Male Subjects: Rash Development in Men and Its Possible Mechanism


E3024 (3-but-2-ynyl-5-methyl-2-piperazin-1-yl-3,5-dihydro-4H-imidazo[4,5-d]pyridazin-4-one tosylate) is a dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV) inhibitor that was expected to be an antidiabetic agent. Its safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), and pharmacodynamics (PD) were investigated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, ascending single-dose study in 48 healthy Japanese male subjects. Fasted subjects were orally administered E3024 (5, 10, 20, 40, or 80 mg) or placebo. E3024 was rapidly absorbed, with tmax values ranging between 0.33 and 3 h after dosing. The mean t1/2 ranged from 5.34 to 11.68 h. AUC0-inf and Cmax increased dose-proportionately. PK-PD relationship of E3024 was evaluated by using an Imax model, indicating that plasma E3024 concentrations and inhibitory effects of plasma DPP-IV activity were well correlated. The IC50 value was calculated as 33.7 ng/mL, which was consistent with in vitro data. Thus, E3024 showed a good PK profile and inhibited DPP-IV dose-dependently. Of 30 subjects administered E3024, 12 (40%) experienced adverse events (AEs). Dose escalation to 160 mg was abandoned owing to undesired subjective/objective findings in 4 of 6 subjects receiving 40 mg and 5 of 6 subjects receiving 80 mg. The most prominent AE was rash, but there were no serious AEs or deaths. The maximum tolerated dose was considered to be 20 mg. We hypothesized that histamine was a cause of the rash induction, and examined blood histamine levels of normal Fischer rats treated with E3024. Blood histamine levels were increased significantly by E3024 at 500 mg/kg (p < 0.001), but not by vildagliptin or valine-pyrrolidide (DPP-IV inhibitors) at the same dose. No blood histamine increases were observed in genetically mast cell-deficient Ws/Ws rats treated with E3024 at 500 mg/kg. In in vitro assays, E3024 induced histamine release from normal rat peritoneal mast cells in a concentration-dependent manner, but not from basophils. The structure-activity relationship study suggested that a piperazine group N-linked to the 2-position of the 5,6-membered fused heterocyclic rings was a key structural element for triggering histamine release.


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Y. Takeuchi, M. Namiki, Y. Kitahara, S. Hasegawa, A. Ohnishi, N. Yasuda, T. Inoue, R. Clark and K. Yamazaki, "Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of E3024, a Novel and Selective Dipeptidyl Peptidase-IV Inhibitor, in Healthy Japanese Male Subjects: Rash Development in Men and Its Possible Mechanism," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 4 No. 9, 2013, pp. 663-678. doi: 10.4236/pp.2013.49093.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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