Population pharmacokinetics of unbound mycophenolic acid in adult allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation: effect of pharmacogenetic factors



Dr Janel Long-Boyle PharmD PhD, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California San Francisco, School of Pharmacy, 521 Parnassus Ave, C-152, Box 0622, San Francisco, CA 94143-0622, USA.

Tel.: +1 415 514 2746

Fax: +1 415 476 6632

E-mail: long-boylej@pharmacy.ucsf.edu



To evaluate pharmacogenetic factors as contributors to the variability of unbound mycophenolic acid (MPA) exposure in adult allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) recipients.


A population-based pharmacokinetic (PK) model of unbound MPA was developed using non-linear mixed-effects modelling (nonmem). Previously collected intensive unbound MPA PK data from 132 adult alloHCT recipients after oral and intravenous dosing of the prodrug mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) were used. In addition to clinical covariates, genetic polymorphisms in UGT1A8, UGT1A9, UGT2B7 and MRP2 were evaluated for their impact on unbound MPA PK.


Unbound MPA concentration−time data were well described by a two compartment model with first order absorption and linear elimination. For the typical patient (52 years of age, creatinine clearance 86 ml min−1), the median estimated values [coefficient of variation, %, (CV)] of systemic clearance, intercompartmental clearance, central and peripheral volumes of MPA were 1610 l h−1 (37.4%), 541 l h−1 (75.6%), 1230 l (37.5%), and 6140 l (120%), respectively. After oral dosing, bioavailability was low (0.56) and highly variable (CV 46%). No genetic polymorphisms tested significantly explained the variability among individuals. Creatinine clearance was a small but significant predictor of unbound MPA CL. No other clinical covariates impacted unbound MPA PK.


In adult alloHCT recipients, variability in unbound MPA AUC was large and remained largely unexplained even with the inclusion of pharmacogenetic information. Targeting unbound MPA AUC in a patient will require therapeutic drug monitoring.