Population Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Model-Based Comparability Assessment of a Recombinant Human Epoetin Alfa and the Biosimilar HX575


Address for correspondence: Woiciech Krzyzanski, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 565 B Hochstetter Hall, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260; e-mail: wk@buffalo.edu.


The aim of this study was to develop an integrated pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) model and assess the comparability between epoetin alfa HEXAL/Binocrit (HX575) and a comparator epoetin alfa by a model-based approach. PK/PD data—including serum drug concentrations, reticulocyte counts, red blood cells, and hemoglobin levels—were obtained from 2 clinical studies. In sum, 149 healthy men received multiple intravenous or subcutaneous doses of HX575 (100 IU/kg) and the comparator 3 times a week for 4 weeks. A population model based on pharmacodynamics-mediated drug disposition and cell maturation processes was used to characterize the PK/PD data for the 2 drugs. Simulations showed that due to target amount changes, total clearance may increase up to 2.4-fold as compared with the baseline. Further simulations suggested that once-weekly and thrice-weekly subcutaneous dosing regimens would result in similar efficacy. The findings from the model-based analysis were consistent with previous results using the standard noncompartmental approach demonstrating PK/PD comparability between HX575 and comparator. However, due to complexity of the PK/PD model, control of random effects was not straightforward. Whereas population PK/PD model-based analyses are suited for studying complex biological systems, such models have their limitations (statistical), and their comparability results should be interpreted carefully.