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NIVESTYM™ Clinical Pharmacology (filgrastim-aafi)


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Colony-stimulating factors are glycoproteins which act on hematopoietic cells by binding to specific cell surface receptors and stimulating proliferation‚ differentiation commitment‚ and some end-cell functional activation.

Endogenous G-CSF is a lineage-specific colony-stimulating factor that is produced by monocytes‚ fibroblasts, and endothelial cells. G-CSF regulates the production of neutrophils within the bone marrow and affects neutrophil progenitor proliferation‚ differentiation, and selected end-cell functions (including enhanced phagocytic ability‚ priming of the cellular metabolism associated with respiratory burst‚ antibody-dependent killing, and the increased expression of some cell surface antigens). G-CSF is not species-specific and has been shown to have minimal direct in vivo or in vitro effects on the production or activity of hematopoietic cell types other than the neutrophil lineage.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

In phase 1 studies involving 96 patients with various non-myeloid malignancies‚ filgrastim administration resulted in a dose-dependent increase in circulating neutrophil counts over the dose range of 1 to 70 mcg/kg/day. This increase in neutrophil counts was observed whether filgrastim was administered intravenous (1 to 70 mcg/kg twice daily)‚ subcutaneous (1 to 3 mcg/kg once daily)‚ or by continuous subcutaneous infusion (3 to 11 mcg/kg/day). With discontinuation of filgrastim therapy‚ neutrophil counts returned to baseline in most cases within 4 days. Isolated neutrophils displayed normal phagocytic (measured by zymosan-stimulated chemoluminescence) and chemotactic (measured by migration under agarose using N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine [fMLP] as the chemotaxin) activity in vitro.

The absolute monocyte count was reported to increase in a dose-dependent manner in most patients receiving filgrastim; however‚ the percentage of monocytes in the differential count remained within the normal range. Absolute counts of both eosinophils and basophils did not change and were within the normal range following administration of filgrastim. Increases in lymphocyte counts following filgrastim administration have been reported in some normal subjects and patients with cancer.

White blood cell (WBC) differentials obtained during clinical trials have demonstrated a shift towards earlier granulocyte progenitor cells (left shift)‚ including the appearance of promyelocytes and myeloblasts‚ usually during neutrophil recovery following the chemotherapy-induced nadir. In addition‚ Dohle bodies‚ increased granulocyte granulation‚ and hypersegmented neutrophils have been observed. Such changes were transient and were not associated with clinical sequelae, nor were they necessarily associated with infection.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Filgrastim products exhibit nonlinear pharmacokinetics. Clearance is dependent on filgrastim product concentration and neutrophil count: G-CSF receptor-mediated clearance is saturated by high concentration of filgrastim products and is diminished by neutropenia. In addition, filgrastim products are cleared by the kidney.

Subcutaneous administration of 3.45 mcg/kg and 11.5 mcg/kg of filgrastim resulted in maximum serum concentrations of 4 and 49 ng/mL‚ respectively‚ within 2 to 8 hours. After intravenous administration, the volume of distribution averaged 150 mL/kg and the elimination half-life was approximately 3.5 hours in both normal subjects and cancer subjects. Clearance rates of filgrastim were approximately 0.5 to 0.7 mL/minute/kg. Single parenteral doses or daily intravenous doses‚ over a 14-day period‚ resulted in comparable half-lives. The half-lives were similar for intravenous administration (231 minutes‚ following doses of 34.5 mcg/kg) and for subcutaneous administration (210 minutes‚ following filgrastim dosages of 3.45 mcg/kg). Continuous 24-hour intravenous infusions of 20 mcg/kg over an 11 to 20-day period produced steady-state serum concentrations of filgrastim with no evidence of drug accumulation over the time period investigated. The absolute bioavailability of filgrastim after subcutaneous administration is 60% to 70%.

Specific Populations

Pediatric Patients

The pharmacokinetics of filgrastim in pediatric patients after chemotherapy are similar to those in adult patients receiving the same weight-normalized doses, suggesting no age-related differences in the pharmacokinetics of filgrastim products [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

Renal Impairment

In a study with healthy volunteers, subjects with moderate renal impairment, and subjects with end-stage renal disease (n = 4 per group), higher serum concentrations were observed in subjects with end-stage renal disease. However, dose adjustment in patients with renal impairment is not necessary.

Hepatic Impairment

Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of filgrastim are similar between subjects with hepatic impairment and healthy subjects (n = 12/group). The study included 10 subjects with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class A) and 2 subjects with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class B). Therefore, NIVESTYM dose adjustment for patients with hepatic impairment is not necessary.

12.6 Immunogenicity

The observed incidence of anti-drug antibodies is highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assay. Differences in assay methods preclude meaningful comparisons of the incidence of anti-drug antibodies in the studies described below with the incidence of anti-drug antibodies in other studies, including those of filgrastim or of other filgrastim products.

While available data suggest that a small proportion of patients developed binding antibodies to filgrastim products, the nature and specificity of these antibodies has not been adequately studied. In clinical studies using filgrastim, the incidence of antibodies binding to filgrastim was 3% (11/333). In these 11 patients, no evidence of a neutralizing response was observed using a cell-based bioassay. Because of the low occurrence of anti-drug antibodies, the effect of these antibodies on the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, safety, and/or effectiveness of filgrastim products is unknown.

Cytopenias resulting from an antibody response to exogenous growth factors have been reported on rare occasions in patients treated with other recombinant growth factors.

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