12 CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
12.1 Mechanism of Action
Pegvisomant selectively binds to growth hormone (GH) receptors on cell surfaces, where it blocks the binding of endogenous GH, and thus interferes with GH signal transduction.
Inhibition of GH action results in decreased serum concentrations of IGF-1, as well as other GH-responsive serum proteins such as free IGF-1, the acid-labile subunit of IGF-1 (ALS), and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3).
Pegvisomant binds selectively to the GH receptor, and does not cross-react with 19 other cytokine receptors tested, including prolactin. Pegvisomant leads to decreased serum concentrations of IGF-1, free IGF-1, ALS, and IGFBP-3 [see Clinical Studies (14, Figure 1)].
Absorption: Following subcutaneous administration, peak serum pegvisomant concentrations are not generally attained until 33 to 77 hours after administration. The mean extent of absorption of a 20-mg subcutaneous dose was 57%, relative to a 10-mg intravenous dose.
Distribution: The mean apparent volume of distribution of pegvisomant is 7 L (12% coefficient of variation), suggesting that pegvisomant does not distribute extensively into tissues. After a single subcutaneous administration, exposure (Cmax, AUC) to pegvisomant increases disproportionately with increasing dose. Mean ± SEM serum pegvisomant concentrations after 12 weeks of therapy with daily doses of 10, 15, and 20 mg were 6600 ± 1330; 16,000 ± 2200; and 27,000 ± 3100 ng/mL, respectively.
The relative bioavailability of 1 × 30 mg pegvisomant was compared to 2 × 15 mg pegvisomant in a single-dose study. The AUCinf and Cmax of pegvisomant when administered as one injection of 30 mg strength was approximately 6% and 4% greater, respectively, as compared to when administered as two injections of 15 mg strengths.
Metabolism and Elimination: The pegvisomant molecule contains covalently bound polyethylene glycol polymers in order to reduce the clearance rate. Clearance of pegvisomant following multiple doses is lower than seen following a single-dose. The mean total body systemic clearance of pegvisomant following multiple doses is estimated to range between 36 to 28 mL/h for subcutaneous doses ranging from 10 to 20 mg/day, respectively. Clearance of pegvisomant was found to increase with body weight. Pegvisomant is eliminated from serum with a mean half-life estimates ranging from 60 to 138 hours following either single or multiple doses. Less than 1% of administered drug is recovered in the urine over 96 hours. The elimination route of pegvisomant has not been studied in humans.
Drug Interaction Studies
In clinical studies, patients on opioids often needed higher serum pegvisomant concentrations to achieve appropriate IGF-1 suppression compared with patients not receiving opioids. The mechanism of this interaction is not known [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].
No pharmacokinetic studies have been conducted in patients with renal impairment, patients with hepatic impairment, geriatric patients, or pediatric patients and the effects of race on the pharmacokinetics of pegvisomant has not been studied. No gender effect on the pharmacokinetics of pegvisomant was found in a population pharmacokinetic analysis.
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 SOMAVERT or other growth hormone analogs.
In pre-marketing clinical studies, approximately 17% of the SOMAVERT-treated patients developed low titer, non‑neutralizing anti-GH antibodies. Although the presence of these antibodies did not appear to impact the efficacy of SOMAVERT, the long term clinical significance of these antibodies is not known. No assay for anti-pegvisomant antibodies is commercially available for patients receiving SOMAVERT.
The data above reflect the percentage of patients whose test results were considered positive for antibodies to SOMAVERT. The detection of antibody formation is highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assay. Additionally, the observed incidence of antibody positivity in an assay may be influenced by several factors including sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medications, and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to SOMAVERT with the incidence of antibodies to other products may be misleading.