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OXBRYTA Clinical Pharmacology (voxelotor)


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Voxelotor is a hemoglobin S (HbS) polymerization inhibitor that binds to HbS with a 1:1 stoichiometry and exhibits preferential partitioning to red blood cells (RBCs). By increasing the affinity of Hb for oxygen, voxelotor demonstrates dose-dependent inhibition of HbS polymerization. Nonclinical studies suggest that voxelotor may inhibit RBC sickling, improve RBC deformability, and reduce whole blood viscosity.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

The pharmacodynamic effect of voxelotor treatment demonstrated a dose-dependent increase in Hb oxygen affinity as determined by the change in p50 (partial pressure of oxygen at which Hb oxygen saturation of 50% is achieved) that was linearly correlated with voxelotor exposure.

The pharmacodynamic effect of voxelotor treatment also demonstrated a dose-dependent reduction in clinical measures of hemolysis (indirect bilirubin and % reticulocytes).

Cardiac Electrophysiology

At plasma concentrations approximately 2-fold above therapeutic concentrations, voxelotor does not prolong QT interval to any clinically relevant extent.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Voxelotor is absorbed into plasma and is then distributed predominantly into RBCs due to its preferential binding to Hb. The major route of elimination of voxelotor is by metabolism with subsequent excretion of metabolites into urine and feces. The PK are linear and voxelotor exposures increased proportionally with either single or multiple doses (Table 5) in whole blood, plasma, and RBCs. Steady-state after repeated administration is reached within 8 days and exposures of voxelotor are consistent with accumulation predicted based on single dose data in patients with SCD.

Table 5: Pharmacokinetics Parameters of Voxelotor in Plasma and Whole Blood*
PK ParameterVoxelotor 1,500 mg
Geometric Mean (%CV)
Based on the 72-week population pharmacokinetic analysis.
Plasma PK
AUC0-24h (μg∙hr/mL)278 (28.4)
Cmax (µg/mL)14 (24.5)
Half-life (hours)38.7 (30.2)
Whole Blood PK
AUC0-24h (μg∙hr/mL)3,830 (33.5)
Cmax (µg/mL)180 (31)

In healthy subjects, voxelotor exposures were comparable when administered as tablet for oral suspension dispersed in water or as oral tablet swallowed whole.


The median plasma and whole blood Tmax of voxelotor after oral administration is 2 hours. The mean peak concentrations in whole blood and RBCs are observed between 6 and 18 hours after oral administration.

Effect of Food

A high-fat, high-calorie meal increased voxelotor AUC by 42% and Cmax by 45% in whole blood relative to AUC and Cmax in the fasted state. Similarly, AUC increased by 42% and Cmax increased by 95% in plasma.


Voxelotor apparent volume of distribution of the central compartment and peripheral compartment are 333 L and 72.3 L in plasma, respectively. Protein binding is 99.8% in vitro. The blood-to-plasma ratio is approximately 17:1 in patients with SCD.


The geometric mean (%CV) terminal elimination half-life of voxelotor in patients with SCD is 38.7 hours (30.2%) with concentrations in plasma, whole blood, and RBCs declining in parallel. The apparent oral clearance of voxelotor was estimated as 6.1 L/h in plasma in patients with SCD.


In vitro and in vivo studies indicate that voxelotor is extensively metabolized through Phase I (oxidation and reduction), Phase II (glucuronidation) and combinations of Phase I and II metabolism. Metabolism of voxelotor is mediated by CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, UGT1A1, and UGT1A9.


Following the administration of radiolabeled voxelotor, approximately 62.6% of the dose and its metabolites are excreted into feces (33.3% unchanged) and 35.5% in urine (0.08% unchanged).

Specific Populations

No clinically significant differences in the pharmacokinetics of voxelotor were observed based on age (12 to 59 years), sex, body weight (28 to 135 kg), or mild to severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance [CLcr] 15-89 mL/min).

Pediatric Patients

The pharmacokinetic exposures of voxelotor in whole blood and plasma were similar between pediatric patients 4 to <17 years and adults following the recommended dosage [see Dosage and Administration (2)].

Patients with Renal Impairment

There was no clinically significant effect of renal function on the excretion of voxelotor. Following a single 900 mg dose of voxelotor, whole blood exposures in subjects with severe renal impairment (eGFR <30 mL/min/1.73 m2) were 25% lower compared to healthy controls.

The unbound plasma concentrations were comparable. OXBRYTA has not been evaluated in patients with end stage renal disease requiring dialysis.

Patients with Hepatic Impairment

The voxelotor AUC in whole blood were 14% and 15% higher in subjects with mild and moderate hepatic impairment (Child Pugh A and B) and 90% higher in subjects with severe hepatic impairment (Child Pugh C) compared to subjects with normal hepatic function.

Patients with HbSC Genotype

Voxelotor steady state whole blood AUC and Cmax were 50% and 45% higher in HbSC genotype patients (n=11) compared to HbSS genotype (n=220) patients and voxelotor steady state plasma AUC and Cmax were 23% and 15% higher in HbSC genotype patients compared to HbSS genotype patients.

Drug Interaction Studies

Clinical Studies and Model-Informed Approaches

Effect of Strong CYP3A4 Inhibitors on Voxelotor: concomitant use of OXBRYTA with itraconazole increased voxelotor AUC in healthy subjects by 11%.

Effect of Strong or Moderate CYP3A4 Inducers on Voxelotor: concomitant use of OXBRYTA with rifampin (a strong CYP3A4 inducer) is predicted to decrease voxelotor AUC in patients by up to 40%, and efavirenz (a moderate CYP3A4 inducer) is predicted to decrease voxelotor AUC in patients by up to 24%.

Effect of Acid Reducing Agents on Voxelotor: coadministration of omeprazole (proton pump inhibitor) with OXBRYTA did not alter voxelotor exposure.

Effect of Voxelotor on CYP450 Enzymes: in vivo voxelotor inhibits CYP3A4, but not CYP1A2, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2C8, or CYP2D6. The observed exposure increase of the CYP3A4 substrate midazolam in healthy subjects was 1.6-fold and the predicted increase in patients after multiple dosing is 2.5-fold.

Effect of Voxelotor on P-gp: concomitant use of OXBRYTA with digoxin (a P-gp substrate) did not alter digoxin to a clinically relevant extent.

In Vitro Studies

CYP Enzymes: voxelotor is a reversible and time-dependent inhibitor as well as an inducer of CYP2B6.

Transporter Systems: voxelotor is not an inhibitor of P-gp, BCRP, OATP1B1, OATP1B3, OCT2, OAT1, OAT3, MATE1, MATE2-K, or BSEP. Voxelotor is not a substrate of P-gp, BCRP, OATP1A2, OATP1B1, OATP1B3, or BSEP.

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