QUANTITATIVE STRUCTUREâ€“PHARMACOKINETICS MODELING OF THE UNBOUND CLEARANCE FOR NEUTRAL DRUGS
Objective: Prediction of pharmacokinetic behaviour of new candidate drugs is an important step in drug design. Clearance is a key pharmacokinetic parameter, controlling drug exposure in the body. It depends on numerous factors and is frequently restricted by plasma protein binding. The study is focused on the development of quantitative structure-pharmacokinetic relationship (QSPkR) for the unbound clearance (CLu) of neutral drugs.
Methods: The dataset consisted of 117 neutral drugs, divided into training set (n = 94) and external test set (n = 23). Chemical structures were encoded by 113 theoretical descriptors. Genetic algorithm and step-wise multiple linear regression were applied for model development. The model was evaluated by cross-validation in the training set and external test set.
Results: Significant, predictive and interpretable QSPkR model was developed with explained variance r2 = 0.617, cross-validated correlation coefficient q2LOO-CV = 0.554, external test set predictive coefficient r2pred = 0.656, and root mean square error in prediction RMSEP = 1.89. The model was able to predict CLu for 56% of the drugs in the external test set within the 2-fold error of experimental values.
Conclusion: The model reveals the main molecular features governing CLu of neutral drugs. CLu is favoured by lipophilicity, the presence of fused aromatic rings, ester groups, dihydropyridine moieties and nine-member ring systems, while polarity, molecular size and strong electron withdrawing atoms and groups as substituents in aromatic rings affect negatively CL
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