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Malarone (Atovaquone / Proguanil Hydrochloride) - Description and Clinical Pharmacology

 
 



MALARONE®

DESCRIPTION

MALARONE (atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride) is a fixed-dose combination of the antimalarial agents atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride. The chemical name of atovaquone is trans -2-[4-(4-chlorophenyl)cyclohexyl]-3-hydroxy-1,4-naphthalenedione. Atovaquone is a yellow crystalline solid that is practically insoluble in water. It has a molecular weight of 366.84 and the molecular formula C22H19ClO3. The compound has the following structural formula:

The chemical name of proguanil hydrochloride is 1-(4-chlorophenyl)-5-isopropyl-biguanide hydrochloride. Proguanil hydrochloride is a white crystalline solid that is sparingly soluble in water. It has a molecular weight of 290.22 and the molecular formula C11H16ClN5•HCl. The compound has the following structural formula:

MALARONE Tablets and MALARONE Pediatric Tablets are for oral administration. Each MALARONE Tablet contains 250 mg of atovaquone and 100 mg of proguanil hydrochloride and each MALARONE Pediatric Tablet contains 62.5 mg of atovaquone and 25 mg of proguanil hydrochloride. The inactive ingredients in both tablets are low-substituted hydroxypropyl cellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, poloxamer 188, povidone K30, and sodium starch glycolate. The tablet coating contains hypromellose, polyethylene glycol 400, polyethylene glycol 8000, red iron oxide, and titanium dioxide.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Microbiology

Mechanism of Action

The constituents of MALARONE, atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride, interfere with 2 different pathways involved in the biosynthesis of pyrimidines required for nucleic acid replication. Atovaquone is a selective inhibitor of parasite mitochondrial electron transport. Proguanil hydrochloride primarily exerts its effect by means of the metabolite cycloguanil, a dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor. Inhibition of dihydrofolate reductase in the malaria parasite disrupts deoxythymidylate synthesis.

Activity In Vitro and In Vivo

Atovaquone and cycloguanil (an active metabolite of proguanil) are active against the erythrocytic and exoerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium spp. Enhanced efficacy of the combination compared to either atovaquone or proguanil hydrochloride alone was demonstrated in clinical studies in both immune and non-immune patients (see CLINICAL STUDIES).

Drug Resistance

Strains of P. falciparum with decreased susceptibility to atovaquone or proguanil/cycloguanil alone can be selected in vitro or in vivo. The combination of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride may not be effective for treatment of recrudescent malaria that develops after prior therapy with the combination.

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption

Atovaquone is a highly lipophilic compound with low aqueous solubility. The bioavailability of atovaquone shows considerable inter-individual variability.

Dietary fat taken with atovaquone increases the rate and extent of absorption, increasing AUC 2 to 3 times and Cmax 5 times over fasting. The absolute bioavailability of the tablet formulation of atovaquone when taken with food is 23%. MALARONE Tablets should be taken with food or a milky drink.

Proguanil hydrochloride is extensively absorbed regardless of food intake.

Distribution

Atovaquone is highly protein bound (>99%) over the concentration range of 1 to 90 mcg/mL. A population pharmacokinetic analysis demonstrated that the apparent volume of distribution of atovaquone (V/F) in adult and pediatric patients after oral administration is approximately 8.8 L/kg.

Proguanil is 75% protein bound. A population pharmacokinetic analysis demonstrated that the apparent V/F of proguanil in adult and pediatric patients >15 years of age with body weights from 31 to 110 kg ranged from 1,617 to 2,502 L. In pediatric patients ≤15 years of age with body weights from 11 to 56 kg, the V/F of proguanil ranged from 462 to 966 L.

In human plasma, the binding of atovaquone and proguanil was unaffected by the presence of the other.

Metabolism

In a study where 14C-labeled atovaquone was administered to healthy volunteers, greater than 94% of the dose was recovered as unchanged atovaquone in the feces over 21 days. There was little or no excretion of atovaquone in the urine (less than 0.6%). There is indirect evidence that atovaquone may undergo limited metabolism; however, a specific metabolite has not been identified. Between 40% to 60% of proguanil is excreted by the kidneys. Proguanil is metabolized to cycloguanil (primarily via CYP2C19) and 4-chlorophenylbiguanide. The main routes of elimination are hepatic biotransformation and renal excretion.

Elimination

The elimination half-life of atovaquone is about 2 to 3 days in adult patients.

The elimination half-life of proguanil is 12 to 21 hours in both adult patients and pediatric patients, but may be longer in individuals who are slow metabolizers.

A population pharmacokinetic analysis in adult and pediatric patients showed that the apparent clearance (CL/F) of both atovaquone and proguanil are related to the body weight. The values CL/F for both atovaquone and proguanil in subjects with body weight ≥11 kg are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Apparent Clearance for Atovaquone and Proguanil in Patients as a Function of Body Weight

Body Weight

Atovaquone

Proguanil

N

CL/F (L/hr)

Mean ± SD* (range)

N

CL/F (L/hr)

Mean ± SD* (range)

11-20 kg

159

1.34 ± 0.63

(0.52-4.26)

146

29.5 ± 6.5

(10.3-48.3)

21-30 kg

117

1.87 ± 0.81

(0.52-5.38)

113

40.0 ± 7.5

(15.9-62.7)

31-40 kg

95

2.76 ± 2.07

(0.97-12.5)

91

49.5 ± 8.30

(25.8-71.5)

>40 kg

368

6.61 ± 3.92

(1.32-20.3)

282

67.9 ± 19.9

(14.0-145)

* SD = standard deviation.

The pharmacokinetics of atovaquone and proguanil in patients with body weight below 11 kg have not been adequately characterized.

Special Populations

Pediatrics

The pharmacokinetics of proguanil and cycloguanil are similar in adult patients and pediatric patients. However, the elimination half-life of atovaquone is shorter in pediatric patients (1 to 2 days) than in adult patients (2 to 3 days). In clinical trials, plasma trough levels of atovaquone and proguanil in pediatric patients weighing 5 to 40 kg were within the range observed in adults after dosing by body weight.

Geriatrics

In a single-dose study, the pharmacokinetics of atovaquone, proguanil, and cycloguanil were compared in 13 elderly subjects (age 65 to 79 years) to 13 younger subjects (age 30 to 45 years). In the elderly subjects, the extent of systemic exposure (AUC) of cycloguanil was increased (point estimate = 2.36, CI = 1.70, 3.28). Tmax was longer in elderly subjects (median 8 hours) compared with younger subjects (median 4 hours) and average elimination half-life was longer in elderly subjects (mean 14.9 hours) compared with younger subjects (mean 8.3 hours).

Hepatic Impairment

In a single-dose study, the pharmacokinetics of atovaquone, proguanil, and cycloguanil were compared in 13 subjects with hepatic impairment (9 mild, 4 moderate, as indicated by the Child-Pugh method) to 13 subjects with normal hepatic function. In subjects with mild or moderate hepatic impairment as compared to healthy subjects, there were no marked differences (<50%) in the rate or extent of systemic exposure of atovaquone. However, in subjects with moderate hepatic impairment, the elimination half-life of atovaquone was increased (point estimate = 1.28, 90% CI = 1.00 to 1.63). Proguanil AUC, Cmax, and its t1/2 increased in subjects with mild hepatic impairment when compared to healthy subjects (Table 2). Also, the proguanil AUC and its t1/2 increased in subjects with moderate hepatic impairment when compared to healthy subjects. Consistent with the increase in proguanil AUC, there were marked decreases in the systemic exposure of cycloguanil (Cmax and AUC) and an increase in its elimination half-life in subjects with mild hepatic impairment when compared to healthy volunteers (Table 2). There were few measurable cycloguanil concentrations in subjects with moderate hepatic impairment (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). The pharmacokinetics of atovaquone, proguanil, and cycloguanil after administration of MALARONE have not been studied in patients with severe hepatic impairment.

Table 2. Point Estimates (90% CI) for Proguanil and Cycloguanil Parameters in Subjects With Mild and Moderate Hepatic Impairment Compared to Healthy Volunteers

Parameter

Comparison

Proguanil

Cycloguanil

AUC(0-inf)*

mild:healthy

1.96 (1.51, 2.54)

0.32 (0.22, 0.45)

Cmax*

mild:healthy

1.41 (1.16, 1.71)

0.35 (0.24, 0.50)

t1/2

mild:healthy

1.21 (0.92, 1.60)

0.86 (0.49, 1.48)

AUC(0-inf)*

moderate:healthy

1.64 (1.14, 2.34)

ND

Cmax*

moderate:healthy

0.97 (0.69, 1.36)

ND

t1/2

moderate:healthy

1.46 (1.05, 2.05)

ND

ND = not determined due to lack of quantifiable data.

* Ratio of geometric means.

Mean difference.

Renal Impairment

In patients with mild renal impairment (creatinine clearance 50 to 80 mL/min), oral clearance and/or AUC data for atovaquone, proguanil, and cycloguanil are within the range of values observed in patients with normal renal function (creatinine clearance >80 mL/min). In patients with moderate renal impairment (creatinine clearance 30 to 50 mL/min), mean oral clearance for proguanil was reduced by approximately 35% compared with patients with normal renal function (creatinine clearance >80 mL/min) and the oral clearance of atovaquone was comparable between patients with normal renal function and mild renal impairment. No data exist on the use of MALARONE for long-term prophylaxis (over 2 months) in individuals with moderate renal failure. In patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance <30 mL/min), atovaquone Cmax and AUC are reduced but the elimination half-lives for proguanil and cycloguanil are prolonged, with corresponding increases in AUC, resulting in the potential of drug accumulation and toxicity with repeated dosing (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

Drug Interactions

There are no pharmacokinetic interactions between atovaquone and proguanil at the recommended dose.

Concomitant treatment with tetracycline has been associated with approximately a 40% reduction in plasma concentrations of atovaquone.

Concomitant treatment with metoclopramide has also been associated with decreased bioavailability of atovaquone.

Concomitant administration of rifampin or rifabutin is known to reduce atovaquone levels by approximately 50% and 34%, respectively (see PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions). The mechanisms of these interactions are unknown.

Concomitant administration of atovaquone (750 mg BID with food for 14 days) and indinavir (800 mg TID without food for 14 days) did not result in any change in the steady-state AUC and Cmax of indinavir but resulted in a decrease in the Ctrough of indinavir (23% decrease [90% CI 8%, 35%]). Caution should be exercised when prescribing atovaquone with indinavir due to the decrease in trough levels of indinavir.

Atovaquone is highly protein bound (>99%) but does not displace other highly protein-bound drugs in vitro, indicating significant drug interactions arising from displacement are unlikely (see PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions). Proguanil is metabolized primarily by CYP2C19. Potential pharmacokinetic interactions with other substrates or inhibitors of this pathway are unknown.

ANIMAL TOXICOLOGY

Fibrovascular proliferation in the right atrium, pyelonephritis, bone marrow hypocellularity, lymphoid atrophy, and gastritis/enteritis were observed in dogs treated with proguanil hydrochloride for 6 months at a dose of 12 mg/kg/day (approximately 3.9 times the recommended daily human dose for malaria prophylaxis on a mg/m2 basis). Bile duct hyperplasia, gall bladder mucosal atrophy, and interstitial pneumonia were observed in dogs treated with proguanil hydrochloride for 6 months at a dose of 4 mg/kg/day (approximately 1.3 times the recommended daily human dose for malaria prophylaxis on a mg/m2 basis). Mucosal hyperplasia of the cecum and renal tubular basophilia were observed in rats treated with proguanil hydrochloride for 6 months at a dose of 20 mg/kg/day (approximately 1.6 times the recommended daily human dose for malaria prophylaxis on a mg/m2 basis). Adverse heart, lung, liver, and gall bladder effects observed in dogs and kidney effects observed in rats were not shown to be reversible.

CLINICAL STUDIES

Treatment of Acute Malarial Infections

In 3 phase II clinical trials, atovaquone alone, proguanil hydrochloride alone, and the combination of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride were evaluated for the treatment of acute, uncomplicated malaria caused by P. falciparum. Among 156 evaluable patients, the parasitological cure rate was 59/89 (66%) with atovaquone alone, 1/17 (6%) with proguanil hydrochloride alone, and 50/50 (100%) with the combination of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride.

MALARONE was evaluated for treatment of acute, uncomplicated malaria caused by P. falciparum in 8 phase III controlled clinical trials. Among 471 evaluable patients treated with the equivalent of 4 MALARONE Tablets once daily for 3 days, 464 had a sensitive response (elimination of parasitemia with no recurrent parasitemia during follow-up for 28 days) (see Table 7). Seven patients had a response of RI resistance (elimination of parasitemia but with recurrent parasitemia between 7 and 28 days after starting treatment). In these trials, the response to treatment with MALARONE was similar to treatment with the comparator drug in 4 trials, and better than the response to treatment with the comparator drug in the other 4 trials.

The overall efficacy in 521 evaluable patients was 98.7% (Table 7).

Table 7. Parasitological Response in Clinical Trials of MALARONE for Treatment of P. falciparum Malaria

MALARONE*

Comparator

Study Site

Evaluable Patients

(n)

% Sensitive

Response

Drug(s)

Evaluable Patients

(n)

% Sensitive Response

Brazil

74

98.6%

Quinine and tetracycline

76

100.0%

Thailand

79

100.0%

Mefloquine

79

86.1%

France

21

100.0%

Halofantrine

18

100.0%

Kenya‡,§

81

93.8%

Halofantrine

83

90.4%

Zambia

80

100.0%

Pyrimethamine/

sulfadoxine (P/S)

80

98.8%

Gabon

63

98.4%

Amodiaquine

63

81.0%

Philippines

54

100.0%

Chloroquine (Cq)

Cq and P/S

23

32

30.4%

87.5%

Peru

19

100.0%

Chloroquine

P/S

13

7

7.7%

100.0%

* MALARONE = 1,000 mg atovaquone and 400 mg proguanil hydrochloride (or equivalent based on body weight for patients weighing ≤40 kg) once daily for 3 days.

Elimination of parasitemia with no recurrent parasitemia during follow-up for 28 days.

Patients hospitalized only for acute care. Follow-up conducted in outpatients.

§ Study in pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age.

Eighteen of 521 (3.5%) evaluable patients with acute falciparum malaria presented with a pretreatment serum creatinine greater than 2.0 mg/dL (range 2.1 to 4.3 mg/dL). All were successfully treated with MALARONE and 17 of 18 (94.4%) had normal serum creatinine levels by day 7.

Data from a phase II trial of atovaquone conducted in Zambia suggested that approximately 40% of the study population in this country were HIV-infected patients. The enrollment criteria were similar for the phase III trial of MALARONE conducted in Zambia and the results are presented in Table 7. Efficacy rates for MALARONE in this study population were high and comparable to other populations studied.

The efficacy of MALARONE in the treatment of the erythrocytic phase of nonfalciparum malaria was assessed in a small number of patients. Of the 23 patients in Thailand infected with P. vivax and treated with atovaquone/proguanil hydrochloride 1,000 mg/400 mg daily for 3 days, parasitemia cleared in 21 (91.3%) at 7 days. Parasite relapse occurred commonly when P. vivax malaria was treated with MALARONE alone. Seven patients in Gabon with malaria due to P. ovale or P. malariae were treated with atovaquone/proguanil hydrochloride 1,000 mg/400 mg daily for 3 days. All 6 evaluable patients (3 with P. malariae, 2 with P. ovale, and 1 with mixed P. falciparum and P. ovale) were cured at 28 days. Relapsing malarias including P. vivax and P. ovale require additional treatment to prevent relapse.

The efficacy of MALARONE in treating acute uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in children weighing≥5 and <11 kg was examined in an open-label, randomized trial conducted in Gabon. Patients received either MALARONE (2 or 3 MALARONE Pediatric Tablets once daily depending upon body weight) for 3 days (n = 100) or amodiaquine (10 mg/kg/day) for 3 days (n = 100). In this study, the MALARONE Tablets were crushed and mixed with condensed milk just prior to administration. In the per-protocol population, adequate clinical response was obtained in 95% (87/92) of the pediatric patients who received MALARONE and in 53% (41/78) of those who received amodiaquine. A response of RI resistance (elimination of parasitemia but with recurrent parasitemia between 7 and 28 days after starting treatment) was noted in 3% and 40% of the patients, respectively. Two cases of RIII resistance (rising parasite count despite therapy) were reported in the patients receiving MALARONE. There were 4 cases of RIII in the amodiaquine arm.

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