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Evaluation of pharmacokinetics, user handling, and tolerability of peginterferon alfa-2a (40 kDa) delivered via a disposable autoinjector device

Authors Varunok P, lawitz E, Beavers, Matusow, Leong, Lambert, Bernaards, Solsky, Brennan, Wat, Bertasso

Published 24 November 2011 Volume 2011:5 Pages 587—599


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Peter Varunok1, Eric Lawitz2, Kimberly L Beavers3, Gary Matusow4, Ruby Leong5, Nathalie Lambert6, Coen Bernaards7, Jonathan Solsky5, Barbara J Brennan5, Cynthia Wat8, Anne Bertasso5
1Gastroenterology Associates, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA; 2Alamo Medical Research, San Antonio, TX, USA; 3Asheville Gastroenterology, Asheville, NC, USA; 4Gastroenterology Group, South Jersey, NJ, USA; 5Roche, Nutley, NJ, USA; 6Roche, Basel, Switzerland; 7Roche, San Francisco, CA, USA; 8Roche, Welwyn, UK

Background: Peginterferon alfa-2a (40 kDa) is currently administered using a prefilled syringe. The peginterferon alfa-2a disposable autoinjector is a new safety-engineered device designed to facilitate injection and reduce the risk of needlestick injuries. The analysis of two open-label Phase I trials evaluated the pharmacokinetics, successful administration, and tolerability of peginterferon alfa-2a when using the autoinjector. The studies were performed to support the filing and registration of the autoinjector device.
Methods: In trial 1, 50 healthy adult subjects received one 180 µg dose of peginterferon alfa-2a via the autoinjector. Serial blood samples were collected predose, up to 336 hours following drug administration, and at follow-up (28 ± 3 days post-dosing) for noncompartmental pharmacokinetic analysis. Trial 2 randomized 60 adult patients with chronic hepatitis C to 180 µg peginterferon alfa-2a once weekly by the autoinjector or prefilled syringe for 3 weeks followed by the alternative device (prefilled syringe or autoinjector, respectively) for 3 weeks. Patients also received ribavirin. Administration by the devices was evaluated under direct observation by a study staff member and by patient subjective assessment.
Results: In trial 1, following a single dose of peginterferon alfa-2a, the maximum plasma concentration was 16.1 ± 5.3 ng/mL (mean ± standard deviation), and area under the concentration time curve (0–168 hours) was 1996 ± 613 ng · hour/mL, similar to that reported using a vial/syringe or prefilled syringe. In trial 2, few patients showed handling difficulties with either device. Generally, patients were observed to be more satisfied and confident, followed instructions better, and successfully initiated injection with the autoinjector versus the prefilled syringe. Patients reported the autoinjector to be more convenient and easier to use. No pain or discomfort was experienced using the autoinjector. The autoinjector safety profile was consistent with that known for peginterferon alfa-2a/ribavirin.
Conclusion: These results indicate that peginterferon alfa-2a can be successfully and safely delivered via the autoinjector and that the device is easy to handle.

Keywords: peginterferon alfa-2a, disposable autoinjector, hepatitis C, pharmacokinetics, user handling

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