Characterization of the Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Profile of Apraglutide, a Glucagon-Like Peptide-2 Analog, in Healthy Volunteers

Bolognani F, Kruithof AC, Schulthess P, Machacek M, de Kam ML, Bergmann KR, van Gent M, Moerland M, Crenn P, Greig G, Gal P

Apraglutide (FE 203799) is a glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) analog under development for the treatment of intestinal failure associated with short bowel syndrome (SBS-IF) and graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). Compared with native GLP-2, apraglutide has slower absorption, reduced clearance, and higher protein binding, enabling once-weekly dosing. This study evaluated the pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) profile of apraglutide in healthy adults. Healthy volunteers were randomized to receive 6 weekly subcutaneous (s.c.) administrations of 1, 5, or 10 mg apraglutide or placebo. PK and citrulline samples were collected at multiple timepoints. Kinetic parameters of apraglutide and citrulline were calculated using noncompartmental analysis; repeated PD measures were analyzed with a mixed model of covariance A population PK/PD model was developed that also included data from a previous phase I study in healthy volunteers. Twenty-four subjects were randomized; 23 received all study drug administrations. Mean estimated apraglutide clearance was 16.5‒20.7 L/day and mean volume of distribution was 55.4‒105.0 L. A dose-dependent increase in citrulline plasma concentration was observed, with 5-mg and 10-mg doses inducing higher citrulline levels than 1-mg doses and placebo. PK/PD analysis showed that weekly 5-mg apraglutide induced the maximal citrulline response. Increased plasma citrulline levels were sustained for 10‒17 days after the final apraglutide administration. Apraglutide displays predictable dose-dependent PK and PD profiles, with a 5-mg dose showing significant PD effects. Results suggest that apraglutide has early and enduring effects on enterocyte mass and supports the continued development of weekly s.c. apraglutide for SBS-IF and GvHD patient populations Once-weekly, SC apraglutide results in dose-dependent elevations of plasma citrulline (an enterocyte mass PD marker) with parameters suggesting that apraglutide has lasting effects on enterocyte mass and the potential to provide therapeutic benefits. This is the first report of a model relating GLP-2 agonism and its effects in intestinal mucosa, affording not only the ability to predict pharmacologic effects of GLP-2 analogs but also the exploration of optimal dosing regimens for this drug class across populations with different body weights.