Pharmacokinetics of a Three-Way Drug Interaction Between Danoprevir, Ritonavir and the Organic Anion Transporting Polypeptide (OATP) Inhibitor Ciclosporin

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Danoprevir (RG7227) is a potent macrocyclic inhibitor of the hepatitis C virus NS3/4A protease, which is currently in development in combination with low-dose ritonavir for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection. Danoprevir is a substrate of cytochrome P450 3A4, and the organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATP) 1B1 and 1B3.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a potent OATP inhibitor, ciclosporin, on danoprevir pharmacokinetics, when administered as danoprevir/ ritonavir. The effect of danoprevir/ritonavir on ciclosporin pharmacokinetics was also investigated.


This was a single-dose, randomized, open-label, two-sequence, three-period, crossover study in healthy volunteers. In the first period, subjects were randomized to receive either a single oral dose of danoprevir 100 mg in combination with ritonavir 100 mg or a single oral dose of ciclosporin 100 mg. After a 14-day washout, patients were crossed over to receive the opposite treatment. In period 3, all subjects received the combination of danoprevir/ritonavir and ciclosporin following a 14-day washout from period 2. Blood samples were collected serially with each dose for pharmacokinetic assessment. Pharmacokinetic parameters were estimated using non-compartmental analysis. Geometric mean ratios (GMRs) and 90 % confidence intervals (CIs) were used to compare pharmacokinetic parameters [maximum concentration (Cmax), area under the concentration-time curve from time zero to infinity (AUC∞), and concentration 12 h post-dose (C12h)] of danoprevir/ritonavir and ciclosporin when administered alone or in combination. Measures of safety and tolerability were also evaluated.


A total of 18 subjects were enrolled, and 17 completed the study. The Cmax, AUC∞, and C12h GMRs (90 % CI) when danoprevir/ritonavir and ciclosporin were co-administered versus danoprevir/ritonavir or ciclosporin alone were 7.22 (5.42-9.62), 13.6 (11.2-16.6), and 22.5 (17.4-29.3), respectively, for danoprevir, 1.97 (1.72-2.27), 2.23 (2.07-2.42), and 2.50 (2.22-2.81), respectively, for ritonavir, and 1.42 (1.29-1.57), 3.65 (3.27-4.08), and 6.15 (5.32-7.11), respectively, for ciclosporin. All treatments were well tolerated, with no laboratory abnormalities, and no clinically significant changes in vital signs, electrocardiograms, or physical examinations observed.


A significant drug-drug interaction was observed between ciclosporin and danoprevir/ritonavir, leading to substantial increases in exposure to danoprevir and a lesser impact on exposure to ritonavir. Therefore, co-administration of danoprevir/ritonavir with potent OATP inhibitors should be undertaken with appropriate precautions.

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