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18.05.2019 | Original Research Article | Ausgabe 12/2019

Clinical Pharmacokinetics 12/2019

A Comprehensive Whole-Body Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Model of Dabigatran Etexilate, Dabigatran and Dabigatran Glucuronide in Healthy Adults and Renally Impaired Patients

Clinical Pharmacokinetics > Ausgabe 12/2019
Daniel Moj, Hugo Maas, André Schaeftlein, Nina Hanke, José David Gómez-Mantilla, Thorsten Lehr
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s40262-019-00776-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Background and Objectives

The thrombin inhibitor dabigatran is administered as the prodrug dabigatran etexilate, which is a substrate of esterases and P-glycoprotein (P-gp). Dabigatran is eliminated via renal excretion but is also a substrate of uridine 5ʹ-diphospho (UDP)-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs). The objective of this study was to build a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model comprising dabigatran etexilate, dabigatran, and dabigatran 1-O-acylglucuronide to describe the pharmacokinetics in healthy adults and renally impaired patients mechanistically.


Model development and evaluation were carried out using (i) physicochemical and absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) parameter values of all three analytes; (ii) concentration–time profiles from 13 studies of healthy and renally impaired individuals after varying doses (0.1–300 mg), intravenous (dabigatran) and oral (dabigatran etexilate) administration, and different formulations of dabigatran etexilate (capsule, solution); and (iii) drug–drug interaction studies of dabigatran with the P-gp perpetrators rifampin (inducer) and clarithromycin (inhibitor).


A PBPK model of dabigatran was successfully developed. The predicted area under the plasma concentration–time curve, trough concentration, and half-life values of the assessed clinical studies satisfied the two-fold acceptance criterion. Metabolic clearances of dabigatran etexilate and dabigatran were implemented using data on carboxylesterase 1/2 enzymes and UGT subtype 2B15. In severe renal impairment, the UGT2B15 metabolism and the P-gp transport in the model were reduced to 67% and 65% of the rates in healthy adults.


This is the first implementation of a PBPK model for dabigatran to distinguish between the prodrug, active moiety, and main active metabolite. Following adjustment of the UGT2B15 metabolism and P-gp transport rates, the PBPK model accurately predicts the pharmacokinetics in renally impaired patients.

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