A dried blood spot assay with UPLC–MS/MS for the simultaneous determination of E6005, a phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, and its metabolite in human blood

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E6005, a novel phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, is currently under clinical development for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. To support pediatric clinical trials, the dried blood spot assay for simultaneous determination of E6005 and its main metabolite, ER-392710 (M11), has been developed using ultra-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. E6005 and M11, in 25μL blood spotted onto FTA™ DMPK-C cards, were extracted by water/acetonitrile (1:1, v/v), and then chromatographed on a reversed phase column under gradient elution. The mass transitions, m/z 473.1→163.0 for E6005 and m/z 459.1→149.0 for M11, with corresponding stable isotope internal standard, m/z 477.2→167.0, and m/z 463.2→153.0, were monitored. E6005 and M11 were quantifiable from 1 to 200ng/mL as free base. Accuracy and precision of the two analytes in the intra- and inter-batch reproducibility were within ±8.0% and 15.7%, respectively. Extraction recoveries of the analytes were 73% or more and hematocrit ranging from 26.9% to 51.8% did not impact the analytes’ accuracy. Various stability assessments, including possible conversion of E6005 to M11, were thoroughly performed, and bench-top stability was ensured up to 160days. The DBS method was applied to determine E6005 and M11 concentrations in blood samples supporting a pediatric clinical trial.

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