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Assessment of correlation between skin target site free drug concentration and the in vivo topical antiviral efficacy in hairless mice for (E)-5-(2-bromovinyl)-2'-deoxyuridine and acyclovir formulations.

Author(s): Afouna MI, Mehta SC, Ghanem AH, Higuchi WI, Kern ER, De Clercq E, El-Shattawy HH

Affiliation(s): Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Utah, 30 So. 2000 E, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.

Publication date & source: 1998-08, J Pharm Sci., 87(8):917-21.

Recently, we reported that the in vivo efficacy of acyclovir (ACV) formulations was a single valued function of skin target site free drug concentration (C) irrespective of the formulation compositions. A long-term objective of this research has been to generalize the C concept using model drugs which are similar to as well as different from ACV in their mechanism of actions. (Bromovinyl)deoxyuridine (BVDU) was selected as a model drug based on the reported similarity in its mechanism of action with ACV. The relationship between the C predictions and the in vivo efficacies for some topical formulations containing different concentrations (0.05-10%) of either ACV or BVDU in 95% DMSO as a vehicle with or without 5% Azone as skin permeation enhancer was examined. Hairless mice infected cutaneously with HSV-1 were used to quantitatively estimate the in vivo topical antiviral efficacy. A finite dose of the test antiviral formulation was applied twice a day for 4 days, starting the day after virus inoculation. On the fifth day, the lesions were scored and the efficacy values were calculated. For each formulation, in vitro flux experiments were performed in an in vivo-in vitro experimental design that closely approximated the in vivo study protocol. As was previously shown, with all ACV formulations, a good correlation was found between the C predictions and the in vivo topical efficacy. With the BVDU formulations, on the other hand, this was found not to be the case. BVDU formulations with 5% Azone were generally much more effective than those without Azone at comparable C values. This finding is believed to be the first of its kind showing that skin "permeation enhancers" may enhance efficacy by more than simply increasing skin permeation rates.

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