In vitro disposition profiling of heterocyclic compounds

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Compound libraries that are screened for biological activity commonly contain heterocycles. Besides potency, drug-like properties need to be evaluated to ensure in vivo efficacy of test compounds. In this context, we determined hepatic and intestinal disposition profiles for 17 heterocyclic compounds.All studied compounds showed rapid uptake in suspended rat hepatocytes, whereas metabolism was poor and the rate-limiting step in hepatic elimination. In vitro assays demonstrated a relatively low solubility and high intestinal permeability. Based on these in vitro data, heterocycles were categorized in the biopharmaceutics classification system (BCS) and the biopharmaceutics drug disposition classification system (BDDCS) to predict disposition characteristics before clinical data are available. Our findings emphasized the importance to use hepatocytes in addition to microsomes to study metabolism, since the latter lack non-microsomal enzymes and cellular context. Moreover, intracellular exposure should be considered to gain insight in the relevant fraction of the compound available at the enzymatic site. Finally, the study reveals discrepancies associated with the classification of heterocycles in BCS versus BDDCS. These probably originate from the binary character of both systems.

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