Development and validation of a simple and robust HPLC method with UV detection for quantification of the hepatitis C virus inhibitor daclatasvir in human plasma

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Abstract

Daclatasvir is an inhibitor of hepatitis C virus NS5A protein that is used for the therapy of chronic hepatitis. So far, published methods for analysis of daclatasvir in plasma are exclusively based on mass spectrometry, which is not always available in standard clinical laboratories. Thus, we wished to develop and validate a simple, but still reliable and sensitive high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) assay with UV detection for the quantification of daclatasvir, feasible for a wide-spread clinical routine use. The method consisted of solid-phase extraction of daclatasvir using Waters Oasis HLB 1cc cartridges, reversed-phase liquid chromatography with a Waters XTerra RP18 (150 mm × 4.6 mm, 3.5 μm) column and a mobile phase of ammonium acetate buffer (pH 5.0, 10 mM) and acetonitrile (56:44, v/v), and UV detection at 318 nm. This assay proved to be sensitive (lower limit of quantification of 0.05 μg/mL), linear (correlation coefficients ≥0.997), specific (no interference with various potentially co-administrated drugs), reproducible (both intra-day and inter-day coefficients of variation ≤8.9%), and accurate (deviations ranged from −2.2 to 8.0% and from −6.5 to 9.2% for intra-day and inter-day assays, respectively). The method was applied to therapeutic monitoring of patients undergoing daclatasvir therapy for hepatitis C and showed to be reliable and robust. Thus, this method provides a simple, sensitive, precise, and reproducible assay for dosing daclatasvir that can be readily adaptable to routine use by clinical laboratories with standard equipment. In addition, the stability of daclatasvir in plasma was evaluated under various conditions, including after the heating procedure required for inactivation of infectious viruses and in different light exposure conditions. These studies evidenced photo-instability of the compound under sunlight exposure over time. Thus, blood sampling and the whole handling procedure have to be performed quickly and with minimal light exposure.

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