Seeing what is behind the smokescreen: A systematic review of methodological aspects of smoking interaction studies over the last three decades and implications for future clinical trials

Clin Transl Sci. 2023 May;16(5):742-758


Smoking drug interaction studies represent a common approach for the clinical investigation of CYP1A2 induction. Despite this important role, they remain an “orphan topic” in the existing regulatory framework of drug interaction studies, and important methodological aspects remain unaddressed. The University of Washington Drug Interaction Database (DIDB) was used to systematically review the published literature on dedicated smoking pharmacokinetic interaction studies in healthy subjects (1990 to 2021, inclusive). Various methodological aspects of identified studies were reviewed. A total of 51 studies met all inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis. Our review revealed that methods applied in smoking interaction studies are heterogeneous and often fall short of established methodological standards of other interaction trials. Methodological deficiencies included incomplete description of study populations, poor definition and lack of objective confirmation of smoker and nonsmoker characteristics, under-representation of female subjects, small sample sizes, frequent lack of statistical sample size planning, frequent lack of use of existing markers of nicotine exposure and CYP1A2 activity measurements, and frequent lack of control of extrinsic CYP1A2 inducing or inhibiting factors. The frequent quality issues in the assessment and reporting of smoking interaction trials identified in this review call for a concerted effort in this area, if the results of these studies are meant to be followed by actionable decisions on dose optimization, when needed, for the effects of smoking on CYP1A2 victim drugs in smokers.

Strong Pharmacokinetic Drug-Drug Interactions With Drugs Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2021: Mechanisms and Clinical Implications

Clin Ther. 2022 Oct6;S0149-2918(22)00323-X


This analysis aimed to identify all strong drug-drug interactions (DDIs) associated with drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2021.

Analysis of Drug-Drug Interaction Labeling Language and Clinical Recommendations for Newly approved Drugs Evaluated With Digoxin, Midazolam, and S-Warfarin


To best promote drug tolerability and efficacy in the clinic, data from drug-drug interaction (DDI) evaluations and subsequent translation of the results to DDI prevention and/or management strategies must be incorporated into the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) product labeling in a consistent manner because differences in language might result in varied interpretations. This analysis aimed to assess the consistency in DDI labeling language in New Drug Applications (NDAs).

Excipient knowledgebase: Development of a comprehensive tool for understanding the disposition and interaction potential of common excipients

CPT Pharmacometrics Syst Pharmacol. 2021 Aug;10(8):953-961


Although the use of excipients is widespread, a thorough understanding of the drug interaction potential of these compounds remains a frequent topic of current research. Not only can excipients alter the disposition of coformulated drugs, but it is likely that these effects on co-administered drugs can reach to clinical significance leading to potential adverse effects or loss of efficacy. These risks can be evaluated through use of in silico methods of mechanistic modeling, including approaches, such as population pharmacokinetic (PK) and physiologically-based PK modeling, which require a comprehensive understanding of the compounds to ensure accurate predictions. We established a knowledgebase of the available compound (or substance) and interaction-specific parameters with the goal of providing a single source of physiochemical, in vitro, and clinical PK and interaction data of commonly used excipients. To illustrate the utility of this knowledgebase, a model for cremophor EL was developed and used to hypothesize the potential for CYP3A- and P-gp-based interactions as a proof of concept.

Do inhibitory metabolites impact DDI risk assessment? Analysis of in vitro and in vivo data from NDA reviews between 2013 and 2018


Evaluating the potential of new drugs and their metabolites to cause drug‐drug interactions (DDIs) is critical for understanding drug safety and efficacy. Although multiple analyses of proprietary metabolite testing data have been published, no systematic analyses of metabolite data collected according to current testing criteria have been conducted. To address this knowledge gap, 120 new molecular entities approved between 2013 and 2018 were reviewed. Comprehensive data on metabolite‐to‐parent area‐under‐the‐curve ratios (AUCM/AUCP), inhibitory potency of parent and metabolites, and clinical drug‐drug interactions (DDI) were collected. 64% of the metabolites quantified in vivo had AUCM/AUCP≥25% and 75% of these metabolites were tested for cytochrome P450 (CYP) inhibition in vitro, resulting in 15 metabolites with potential DDI risk identification. While 50% of the metabolites with AUCM/AUCP<25% were also tested in vitro, none of them showed meaningful CYP inhibition potential. The metabolite % plasma total radioactivity cutoff of ≥10% did not appear to add value to metabolite testing strategies. No relationship between metabolite versus parent drug polarity and inhibition potency was observed. Comparison of metabolite and parent maximum concentration (Cmax) divided by inhibition constant Ki values suggested that metabolites can contribute to in vivo DDIs and hence, quantitative prediction of clinical DDI magnitude may require both parent and metabolite data. This systematic analysis of metabolite data for newly approved drugs supports an AUCM/AUCP cutoff of ≥25% to warrant metabolite in vitro CYP screening to adequately characterize metabolite inhibitory DDI potential and support quantitative DDI predictions.

In Vitro-to-In Vivo Extrapolation of Transporter Inhibition Data for Drugs Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2018

Clin Transl Sci.
Published online 2020 Jan 25


A systematic analysis of the inhibition transporter data available in New Drug Applications of drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018 (N = 42) was performed. In vitro‐to‐in vivo predictions using basic models were available for the nine transporters currently recommended for evaluation. Overall, 29 parents and 16 metabolites showed in vitro inhibition of at least one transporter, with the largest number of drugs found to be inhibitors of P‐gp followed by BCRP. The most represented therapeutic areas were oncology drugs and anti‐infective agents, each comprising 31%. Among drugs with prediction values greater than the FDA recommended cutoffs and further evaluated in vivo, 56% showed positive clinical interactions (area under the concentration‐time curve ratio (AUCRs) ≥ 1.25). Although all the observed or simulated inhibitions were weak (AUCRs < 2), seven of the nine interactions (involving five drugs) resulted in labeling recommendations. Interestingly, more than half of the drugs with predictions greater than the cutoffs had no further evaluations, highlighting that current basic models represent a useful, simple first step to evaluate the clinical relevance of in vitro findings, but that multiple other factors are considered when deciding the need for clinical studies. Four drugs had prediction values less than the cutoffs but had clinical evaluations or physiologically‐based pharmacokinetic simulations available. Consistent with the predictions, all of them were confirmed not to inhibit these transporters in vivo (AUCRs of 0.94–1.09). Overall, based on the clinical evaluations available, drugs approved in 2018 were found to have a relatively limited impact on drug transporters, with all victim AUCRs < 2.

Variability in In Vitro OATP1B1/1B3 Inhibition Data: Impact of Incubation Conditions on Variability and Subsequent Drug Interaction Predictions

Clin Transl Sci. 2020 Jan; 13(1): 47–52.
Published online 2019 Aug 29


As the research into the organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATPs) continues to grow, it is important to ensure that the data generated are accurate and reproducible. In the in vitro evaluation of OATP1B1/1B3 inhibition, there are many variables that can contribute to variability in the resulting inhibition constants, which can then, in turn, contribute to variable results when clinical predictions (R-values) are performed. Currently, the only experimental condition recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the inclusion of a pre-incubation period.1 To identify other potential sources of variability, a descriptive analysis of available in vitro inhibition data was completed. For each of the 21 substrate/inhibitor pairs evaluated, cell type and pre-incubation were found to have the greatest effect on half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50 ) variability. Indeed, when only HEK293 cells and co-incubation conditions were included, the observed variability for the entire data set (highest IC50 /lowest) was reduced from 12.4 to 5.2. The choice of probe substrate used in the study also had a significant effect on inhibitor constant variability. Interestingly, despite the broad range of inhibitory constants identified, these two factors showed little effect on the calculated R-values relative to the FDA evaluation cutoff of 1.1 triggering a clinical evaluation for the inhibitors evaluated. However, because of the small data set available, further research is needed to confirm these preliminary results and define best practice for the study of OATPs.

Variability of OATP1B1/1B3 in vitro inhibition constants and the resulting impact on clinical evaluation

Presented at ISSX conference, June 2019, Portland, OR, USA
Savannah J. McFeely, Yu, Tasha K. Ritchie, and Isabelle Ragueneau-Majlessi

2019 ISSX Poster Presentation – Evaluation of OATP1B1/3 In Vitro Inhibition


The effect of inhibition of the organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATP) 1B1 and 1B3 has continued to grow in clinical significance and recognition. In the last five years, a signification portion of newly approved drugs in the US have been shown to be inhibitors of OATP1B1 and/or OATP1B3 in vitro. For this reason, it is critical to understand the effect of experimental variability on drug interaction predictions and how it impacts the decision for a clinical evaluation.

Organic Anion Transporting Polypeptide 2B1 – More Than a Glass-Full of Drug Interactions


The importance of uptake transporters in determining drug disposition is increasingly appreciated. While the focus of regulatory agencies worldwide has been on the hepatic organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATPs)-1B1 and-1B3, there is another isoform of the OATP sub-family, OATP2B1, which should be considered equally relevant. Unlike the other members of the OATP sub-family, OATP2B1 is expressed in multiple organs in humans, including in the intestine and the liver. Similar to other OATPs, OATP2B1 mediates the hepatic and intestinal uptake of many drugs and endogenous compounds. The importance of OATP2B1 in the disposition of many drugs is highlighted by the growing recognition of its role in significant in vivo drug-drug or food-drug interactions. The dramatic changes in drug exposure attributable to inhibition of OATP2B1 highlight the importance of developing a better understanding of the clinical role of OATP2B1. This review aims to provide a thorough summary of the current understanding of the pharmacogenetics, regulation, expression and abundance of OATP2B1 in humans, as well as its clinical relevance in drug-drug and food-drug interactions.

Identification and Evaluation of Clinical Substrates of Organic Anion Transporting Polypeptides 1B1 and 1B3

Clin Transl Sci. 2019 Jul; 12(4): 379-387
Published online 2019 Feb 01


Organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATPs) 1B1 and 1B3 facilitate the uptake of drugs and endogenous compounds into the liver. In recent years, the impact of these transporters on drug-drug interactions (DDIs) has become a focus of research, and the evaluation of their role in drug disposition is recommended by regulatory agencies worldwide.1-3 Although sensitive substrates of OATP1B1/1B3 have been identified in the literature and probe drugs have been proposed by regulatory agencies, there is no general consensus on the ideal in vivo substrate for clinical DDI studies as analysis may be confounded by contribution from other metabolic and/or transport pathways.1-3 A thorough analysis of the available in vitro and in vivo data regarding OATP1B1/1B3 substrates was performed using the in vitro, clinical, and pharmacogenetic modules in the University of Washington Drug Interaction Database. A total of 34 compounds were identified and further investigated as possible clinical substrates using a novel indexing system. By analyzing the compounds for in vivo characteristics, including sensitivity to inhibition by known OATP1B1/1B3 inhibitors, selectivity for OATP1B1/1B3 compared with other transport and metabolic pathways, and safety profiles, a total of six compounds were identified as potential clinical markers of OATP1B1/1B3 activity.