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Which bioequivalence study for a racemic drug? Application to milnacipran

  • D. Deprez
  • D. Chassard
  • P. Baille
  • A. Mignot
  • H. L. Ung
  • C. Puozzo
Article

Summary

Milnacipran, a new non tricyclic antidepressant drug, is a racemic mixture (F2207) composed of two enantiomers: F2695 and F2696, both demonstrated to be active. A randomized open label, single-dose latin square study was undertaken in 24 healthy volunteers to compare, based on racemate data, the relative bioavailability of two new formulations to that of a reference formulation. Later on, as suggested by actual regulatory trend, analysis was carried out on enantiomer data, although in a supportive way. Bioequivalence was assessed on calculation of 90% confidence intervals for log-transformed Cmax and AUC(0−∞) and on Wilcoxon test for Tmax with a 5% level of significance. Based on racemate data, both test formulations were demonstrated to be equivalent to the reference capsule in terms of Cmax and AUC(0−∞). Differences in Tmax reached statistical significance, although their mean magnitude was small, and probably not relevant when related to antidepressant long-term therapy. When considering the test capsule — reference capsule comparison, the equivalence demonstrated for the racemate reflect that of each enantiomer. On the contrary, equivalence between the test tablet and the reference capsule demonstrated for the racemate, is not supported by both enantiomers as Cmax of F2696 fails to reach bioequivalence criteria, making more uncertain the conclusion of bioequivalence. From this experience, it seems than when equivalence is demonstrated close to the limits for the racemat e, it is difficult, especially for a low variability drug such as milnacipran, to comply with equivalence criteria for both enantiomers.

Keywords

Bioequivalence racemic drug enantioselective analysis 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Deprez
    • 1
  • D. Chassard
    • 2
  • P. Baille
    • 1
  • A. Mignot
    • 2
  • H. L. Ung
    • 1
  • C. Puozzo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department de PharmacokinetiqueInstitut de Recherche Pierre FabreCastresFrance
  2. 2.Aster-CephacParisFrance

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