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Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of clofazimine for treatment of cryptosporidiosis

Zhang, Cindy X., Love, Melissa S., McNamara, Case W., Chi, Victor, Woods, Ashley K., Joseph, Sean, Schaefer, Deborah A., Betzer, Dana P., Riggs, Michael W., Iroh Tam, Pui-Ying ORCID:, Van Voorhis, Wesley C. and Arnold, Samuel L.M. (2022) 'Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of clofazimine for treatment of cryptosporidiosis'. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Vol 66, Issue 1, e01560-21.

Zhang_2021_PK and PD of CFZ for tx of cryptosporidiosis.pdf - Accepted Version
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Infection with Cryptosporidium spp. can cause severe diarrhea leading to long-term adverse impacts and even death in malnourished children and immunocompromised patients. The only FDA-approved drug for treating cryptosporidiosis, nitazoxanide, has limited efficacy in the populations impacted the most by the diarrheal disease, and safe, effective treatment options are urgently needed. Initially identified by a large-scale phenotypic screening campaign, the antimycobacterial therapeutic clofazimine demonstrated great promise in both in vitro and in vivo preclinical models of Cryptosporidium infection. Unfortunately, a Phase 2a clinical trial in HIV infected adults with cryptosporidiosis did not identify any clofazimine treatment effect on Cryptosporidium infection burden or clinical outcomes. To explore whether clofazimine's lack of efficacy in the Phase 2a trial may have been due to subtherapeutic clofazimine concentrations, a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modeling approach was undertaken to determine the relationship between clofazimine in vivo concentrations and treatment effects in multiple preclinical infection models. Exposure-response relationships were characterized using Emax and logistic models which allowed predictions of efficacious clofazimine concentrations for the control and reduction of disease burden. After establishing exposure-response relationships for clofazimine treatment of Cryptosporidium infection in our preclinical model studies, it was unmistakable that the clofazimine levels observed in the Phase 2a study participants were well below concentrations associated with anti-Cryptosporidium efficacy. Thus, despite a dosing regimen above the highest doses recommended for mycobacterial therapy, it is very likely the lack of treatment effect in the Phase 2a trial was at least partially due to clofazimine concentrations below those required for efficacy against cryptosporidiosis. It is unlikely that clofazimine will provide a remedy for the large number of cryptosporidiosis patients currently without a viable treatment option unless alternative, safe clofazimine formulations with improved oral absorption are developed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QV Pharmacology > Anti-Bacterial Agents. Tissue Extracts > QV 350 Anti-bacterial agents (General or not elsewhere classified)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 730 Coccidiosis
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Clinical Sciences & International Health > Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Programme (MLW)
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Marie Hatton
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2021 11:17
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2022 16:28


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