A safety and tolerability study of thin film freeze-dried tacrolimus for local pulmonary drug delivery in human subjects

Sawittree Sahakijpijarn, Moeezullah Beg, Stephanie M. Levine, Jay I. Peters, Robert O. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Due to the low and erratic bioavailability of oral tacrolimus (TAC), the long-term survival rate following lung transplantation remained low compared to other solid organs. TAC was reformulated and developed as inhaled formulations by thin film freezing (TFF). Previous studies reported that inhaled TAC combined with 50% w/w lactose (LAC) was safe and effective for the treatment of lung transplant rejection in rodent models. In this study, we aimed to investigate the safety and tolerability of TFF TAC-LAC in human subjects. The formulation can be delivered to the lung as colloidal dispersions after reconstitution and as a dry powder. Healthy subjects inhaled TAC-LAC colloidal dispersions at 3 mg TAC/dose via a vibrating mesh nebulizer in the first stage of this study and TAC-LAC dry powder at 3 mg TAC/dose via a single dose dry powder inhaler in the second stage. Our results demonstrated that oral inhalation of TAC-LAC colloidal dispersions and dry powder exhibited low systemic absorption. Additionally, they were well-tolerated with no changes in CBC, liver, kidney, and lung functions. Only mild adverse side effects (e.g., cough, throat irritation, distaste) were observed. In summary, pulmonary delivery of TFF TAC-LAC would be a safe and promising therapy for lung transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number717
JournalPharmaceutics
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Dry powder inhalation
  • Immunosuppressant
  • Lung transplantation
  • Nebulization
  • Safety
  • Tacrolimus
  • Thin film freezing
  • Tolerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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