Netupitant PET imaging and ADME studies in humans



Netupitant is a new, selective NK1 receptor antagonist under development for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Two studies were conducted to evaluate the brain receptor occupancy (RO) and disposition (ADME) of netupitant in humans. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with the NK1 receptor-binding–selective tracer [11C]-GR205171 was used to evaluate the brain penetration of different doses of netupitant (100, 300, and 450 mg) and to determine the NK1-RO duration. A NK1-RO of 90% or higher was achieved with all doses in the majority of the tested brain regions at Cmax, with a long duration of RO. The netupitant minimal plasma concentration predicted to achieve a NK1-RO of 90%, C90%, in the striatum was 225 ng/mL; after administration of netupitant 300 mg, concentrations exceeded the C90%. In the ADME study, a single nominal dose of [14C]-netupitant 300 mg was used to assess its disposition. Absorption was rapid and netupitant was extensively metabolized via Phase I and II hepatic metabolism. Elimination of >90% was predicted at day 29 and was principally via hepatic/biliary route (>85%) with a minor contribution of the renal route (<5%). In conclusion, these studies demonstrate that netupitant is a potent agent targeting NK1 receptors with long lasting RO. In addition, netupitant is extensively metabolized and is mainly eliminated through the hepatic/biliary route and to a lesser extent via the kidneys.