A mathematical model of a recombinant humanized anti-cocaine monoclonal antibody’s effects on cocaine pharmacokinetics in mice

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A recombinant humanized anti-cocaine monoclonal antibody (mAb), h2E2, is at an advanced stage of pre-clinical development as an immunotherapy for cocaine abuse. It is hypothesized that h2E2 binds to and sequesters cocaine in the blood.

Main methods

A three-compartment model of the effects of h2E2 on cocaine’s distribution was constructed. The model assumes that h2E2 binds to cocaine and that the h2E2-cocaine complex does not enter the brain but distributes between the central and peripheral compartments. Free cocaine is eliminated from both the central and peripheral compartments, and h2E2 and the h2E2-cocaine complex are eliminated from the central compartment only. This model was tested against a new dataset measuring cocaine concentrations in the brain and plasma over 1 h in the presence and absence of h2E2.

Key findings

The mAb significantly increased plasma cocaine concentrations with a concomitant significant decrease in brain concentration. Plasma concentrations declined over the 1-hour sampling period in both groups. With a set of parameters within reasonable physiological ranges, the three-compartment model was able to qualitatively and quantitatively simulate the increased plasma concentration in the presence of the antibody and the decreased peak brain concentration in the presence of antibody. Importantly, the model explained the decline in plasma concentrations over time as distribution of the cocaine-h2E2 complex into a peripheral compartment.


This model will facilitate the targeting of ideal mAb PK/PD properties thus accelerating the identification of lead candidate anti-drug mAbs.

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