European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics vol:90 pages:1-7
The aim of this study was to evaluate the intestinal disposition of abiraterone acetate, an ester prodrug of the anticancer agent abiraterone. Stability of the prodrug and solubility and dissolution characteristics of both abiraterone and abiraterone acetate were monitored in vitro. Moreover, the in vivo intraluminal concentrations of abiraterone and abiraterone acetate upon intake of one tablet of 250mg abiraterone acetate were assessed in healthy volunteers. The intestinal absorption resulting from the intraluminal behavior of the ester prodrug was determined using the rat in situ intestinal perfusion technique with mesenteric blood sampling. Simulated and aspirated human intestinal fluids of the fasted state were used as solvent systems. Upon incubation of abiraterone acetate in human intestinal fluids in vitro, rapid hydrolysis of the prodrug was observed, generating abiraterone concentrations largely exceeding the apparent solubility of abiraterone, suggesting the existence of intestinal supersaturation. These findings were confirmed in vivo, by intraluminal sampling of duodenal fluids upon oral intake of an abiraterone acetate tablet by healthy volunteers. Rat in situ intestinal perfusion experiments performed with suspensions of abiraterone and abiraterone acetate in human intestinal fluids of the fasted state revealed significantly higher flux values upon perfusion with the prodrug than with abiraterone. Moreover, rat in situ intestinal perfusion with abiraterone acetate suspensions in simulated fluids of the fasted state in presence or absence of esterases demonstrated that increased hydrolytic activity of the perfusion medium was beneficial to the intestinal absorption of abiraterone. In conclusion, the rapid hydrolysis of abiraterone acetate in the intraluminal environment appears to result in fast and extensive generation of abiraterone supersaturation, creating a strong driving force for abiraterone absorption.