Carotegrast methyl, a novel prodrug, oral antagonist of α4-integrin, is in development for the treatment of active ulcerative colitis. This randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study evaluated the effect of food on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics as well as the safety profile after a single dose of carotegrast methyl in healthy male subjects.
Subjects were randomised to receive a single dose of carotegrast methyl (240, 480 or 960 mg) or placebo in a 6:2 ratio and received the study drug under both fed and fasted conditions separated by an 8-day washout. The pharmacokinetic profiles of carotegrast methyl and its active metabolite, carotegrast, were assessed. The pharmacodynamic profile was evaluated according to a change in the peripheral lymphocyte count. Safety was monitored throughout.
Based on the area under the time curve from zero to the time of the last quantifiable concentration (AUC), food reduced systemic exposure to both carotegrast methyl and carotegrast by 21-57% and 5-29%, respectively. The fed-to-fasted ratio of least square means for the increase in the lymphocyte count was almost at unity in each dose, indicating no food effect on pharmacodynamics. The time  ≥ 90% of maximum effect was prolonged dose dependently, suggesting that a 960 mg-dose can provide a long-lasting effect. Reported adverse events were all mild.
Despite the reduced systemic exposure to both carotegrast methyl and carotegrast, food had no effect on the increase in lymphocyte count. A single administration of carotegrast methyl up to 960 mg was found to be safe.