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Nonclinical pharmacokinetics and in vitro metabolism of H3B-6545, a novel selective ERα covalent antagonist (SERCA)



H3B-6545, a novel selective estrogen receptor (ER)α covalent antagonist (SERCA) which inactivates both wild-type and mutant ERα, is in clinical development for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Preclinical studies were conducted to characterize the pharmacokinetics and metabolism of H3B-6545 in rat and monkeys.


The clearance and metabolic profiles of H3B-6545 were studied using rat, monkey and human hepatocytes, and reaction phenotyping was done using recombinant human cytochrome P450 enzymes. Blood stability, protein binding, and permeability were also determined in vitro. Pharmacokinetics of H3B-6545 was assessed after both intravenous and oral dosing. A nonclinical PBPK model was developed to assess in vitro–in vivo correlation of clearance.


H3B-6545 had a terminal elimination half-life of 2.4 h in rats and 4.0 h in monkeys and showed low to moderate bioavailability, in line with the in vitro permeability assessment. Plasma protein binding was similar across species, at 99.5–99.8%. Nine metabolites of H3B-6545 were identified in hepatocyte incubations, none of which were unique to humans. Formation of glutathione-related conjugate of H3B-6545 was minimal in vitro. H3B-6545, a CYP3A substrate, is expected to be mostly cleared via hepatic phase 1 metabolism. Hepatocyte clearance values were used to adequately model the time-concentration profiles in rat and monkey.


We report on the absorption and metabolic fate and disposition of H3B-6545 in rats and dogs and illustrate that in vitro–in vivo correlation of clearance is possible for targeted covalent inhibitors, provided reactivity is not a predominant mechanism of clearance.

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The authors want to thank the H3B-6545 team at H3 Biomedicine for fruitful discussions.


This study was funded by H3 Biomedicine Inc.

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Correspondence to Nathalie Rioux.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

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Rioux, N., Smith, S., Korpal, M. et al. Nonclinical pharmacokinetics and in vitro metabolism of H3B-6545, a novel selective ERα covalent antagonist (SERCA). Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 83, 151–160 (2019).

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  • H3B-6545
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Metabolism
  • Breast cancer
  • Covalent antagonist