Respirable aerosol exposures of nicotine dry powder formulations to in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo pre-clinical models demonstrate consistency of pharmacokinetic profiles


Abstract

Background
Nicotine, because of its volatility, has a complex dosimetry following inhalation as a vapor/aerosol mix. To better control the dosimetry, nicotine could be formulated with a suitable dry powder excipient for use in a clinical inhaler.

Aim and Methods
The aim of this study was to investigate the pharmacokinetic PK profile of two dry powder formulations containing 2.5% or 5% nicotine using three experimental models associated to the PreciseInhale™ aerosolization system: the in vitro DissolvIt dissolution system; the ex vivo isolated, ventilated, and perfused lung (IPL) of the rat; and the in vivo intratracheally intubated rat.

Results and Discussion
Following exposure, both nicotine formulations had very rapid and similar dissolution and absorption kinetics in both the DissolvIt and IPL exposure models, with an initial half-time of absorption to the single-pass perfusate of 34 and 72 seconds, respectively. In the intratracheally intubated rat, following a rapid initial equilibration between the lungs and systemic compartments, nicotine had a systemic elimination half-time of 2.3–2.4 hours for both formulations. The rapid pulmonary PK of nicotine was likely close to the theoretical equilibration of a low-binding substance with a tissue-blood partition coefficient close to 1.

Conclusions
The data generated with the three experimental models provided a comprehensive picture of the inhalation PK of the two nicotine formulations. In particular, the results showed a very rapid dissolution and absorption of the two nicotine formulations and these results could be highly useful for improving the design and calibration of physiologically based PK models to produce more robust predictions.