Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 55–66 | Cite as

Preclinical pharmacokinetics and in vitro metabolism of brivanib (BMS-540215), a potent VEGFR2 inhibitor and its alanine ester prodrug brivanib alaninate

  • Punit H. Marathe
  • Amrita V. Kamath
  • Yueping Zhang
  • Celia D’Arienzo
  • Rajeev Bhide
  • Joseph Fargnoli
Original Article



Brivanib alaninate is a prodrug of brivanib (BMS-540215), a potent oral VEGFR-2 inhibitor and is currently in development for the treatment of hepatocellular and colon carcinomas. In vitro and in vivo studies were conducted to characterize the preclinical pharmacokinetics and disposition of brivanib and brivanib alaninate, and antitumor efficacy in mice bearing human xenografts.


In vitro studies were conducted in liver and intestinal fractions, plasma and Caco-2 cells to assess the metabolic stability. Pharmacokinetics of brivanib were determined in preclinical species after administration of single intravenous or oral doses of both brivanib and brivanib alaninate. The antitumor efficacy was assessed at equimolar doses in nude mice bearing human tumor xenografts. Human efficacious dose was predicted based on projected human pharmacokinetic parameters and exposure at efficacious doses in the mouse efficacy models.


In vitro and in vivo studies indicated that brivanib alaninate was efficiently converted to brivanib. Brivanib showed good brain penetration in rats consistent with its high intrinsic permeability and lack of active efflux in Caco-2 cells. The oral bioavailability of brivanib varied among species (22–88%) and showed dissolution rate-limited absorption even when combined with organic co-solvents. Administration of brivanib as brivanib alaninate allowed completely aqueous vehicles, and an improvement in the oral bioavailability (55–97%) was observed. The clearance of brivanib in humans is anticipated to be low to intermediate (hepatic extraction ratio < 0.7), while its volume of distribution is expected to be high. The minimum efficacious dose of brivanib alaninate was determined to be 60 mg/kg per day.


Brivanib alaninate is rapidly and efficiently converted to the parent, brivanib, as demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo and offers an excellent mode to deliver brivanib orally.


BMS-540215 Brivanib alaninate Prodrug Pharmacokinetics Oral bioavailability 



We would like to thank Anthony Marino and Melissa Yarde for conducting the Caco-2 experiments, George Derbin for formulation support, Carl Davies for reaction phenotyping studies, and R. M. Fancher and the technical services unit for their help with all in vivo studies.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Punit H. Marathe
    • 1
  • Amrita V. Kamath
    • 1
  • Yueping Zhang
    • 1
  • Celia D’Arienzo
    • 1
  • Rajeev Bhide
    • 2
  • Joseph Fargnoli
    • 3
  1. 1.Pharmaceutical Candidate OptimizationBristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research InstitutePrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Discovery ChemistryBristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research InstitutePrincetonUSA
  3. 3.BiologyBristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research InstitutePrincetonUSA

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