A contrast in safety, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics across age groups after a single 50 mg oral dose of the γ-secretase inhibitor avagacestat

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To evaluate the single dose pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and preliminary tolerability of the γ-secretase inhibitor BMS-708163 (avagacestat) in young and elderly men and women.


All subjects received double-blinded administration of a single 50 mg dose of avagacestat in capsule form or matching placebo. Main evaluations included pharmacokinetics, safety, plasma amyloid-β (Aβ)1–40 concentratios and exploration of Notch biomarkers.


Avagacestat 50 mg capsule was well tolerated and rapidly absorbed among young and elderly subjects, with a mediantmax between 1 and 2 h post dose and an average half-life between 41 and 71 h. In general, subjects aged 75 years or more had higher AUC(0,∞) values than those aged less than 75 years. An exploratory analysis of Aβ1–40 serum concentrations showed a pattern of decreasing concentrations over the first 4–6 h followed by a rise above baseline that was maintained until the end of the assessment period. Adverse events were generally mild, occurring more frequently in elderly subjects, with no observed difference between subjects receiving avagacestat and placebo. No dose limiting gastrointestinal effects of avagacestat were observed and exploratory biomarkers of Notch inhibition did not change significantly.


The favourable safety profile and pharmacokinetic effects of avagacestat in this study support its continued development, especially in the target population of elderly subjects with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease.

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