• fed and fasted moxifloxacin;
  • Japanese bridging;
  • PK/PD;
  • QTc prolongation;
  • thorough QT study


The aims of this study were three-fold and were to (i) investigate the effect of food (fasted and fed state) on the degree of QT prolongation caused by moxifloxacin under the rigorous conditions of a TQT study, (ii) differentiate the effects on QTc that arise from changes in PK from those arising as a result of electrophysiological changes attributable to raised levels of C-peptide [11] offsetting in part the IKr blocking properties of moxifloxacin and (iii) characterize the QTcF profile of oral moxifloxacin (400 mg) in healthy Japanese volunteers compared with Caucasian subjects.


The study population consisted of 32 healthy non-smoking, Caucasian (n = 13) and Japanese (n = 19), male and female subjects, aged between 20–45 years with a body mass index of between 18 to 25 kg m−2. Female volunteers were required to use an effective contraceptive method or be abstinent. Subjects with ECGs which were deemed unsuitable for evaluation in a TQT study were excluded. ECGs were recorded in triplicate with subsequent blinded manual adjudication of the automated interval measurements. Electrocardiograms in the placebo arm were recorded twice in fasted and fed condition.


The results demonstrated a substantial change in the typical moxifloxacin effect on the ECG. The effect on ΔΔQTc in the fed state led to a significant delay and a modest reduction compared with the fasted state correcting both conditions with the corresponding placebo data. The largest QTcF change from baseline in the fed state was observed at 4 h with a peak value of 11.6 ms (two-sided 90% CI 9.1, 14.1). In comparison, the largest QTcF change observed in the fasted state was 14.4 ms (90% CI 11.9, 16.8) and occurred at 2.5 h post-dose. The PK of moxifloxacin were altered by food and this change was consistent with the observed QTcF change. In the fed state plasma concentrations of moxifloxacin were considerably and consistently lower in comparison with the fasted state, and this applied to both ethnicities. The concentration–effect analysis revealed that there was no change in slope and confirmed that the difference in this analysis was caused by a change in the PK profile of moxifloxacin. Comparisons of the moxifloxacin effect in the fed state compared with fasted placebo also revealed a pharmacodynamic effect whereby a meal appears to antagonize the effects of moxifloxacin on the lengths of the QTc interval.


Our findings demonstrate that the food effect by itself leads to a shortening of the QTc interval offsetting in part the effects of a 400 mg single dose of oral moxifloxacin. The typical moxifloxacin PK profile is also altered by food prior to dosing reducing the Cmax and delays the peak effects on QTc up to several hours thereby reducing the overall magnitude of the effect and delaying the peak QTc prolongation. The contribution of the two effects was clearly discernible. Given that moxifloxacin is sometimes given with food in TQT studies, consideration should be given to adequate baseline corrections and appropriate sampling time points. In this study the PK–PD relationship was similar for Japanese and Caucasian subjects in the fed and fasted conditions, thereby providing further evidence that the sensitivity to the QTc prolonging effects of fluoroquinolones was likely to be independent of ethnicity. The small differences observed between the two subpopulations were not statistically significant. However, future studies should give consideration to formal ethnic comparisons as a secondary outcome parameter as very little is known about the relationship between ethnicity and drug effects on cardiac repolarization.