Predicting budesonide performance in healthy subjects and patients with Crohn's disease using biorelevant in vitro dissolution testing and PBPK modeling

Angela Effinger, Caitriona M. O'Driscoll, Mark McAllister, Nikoletta Fotaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Drug product performance might be affected in Crohn's disease (CD) patients compared to healthy subjects due to pathophysiological changes. Since a low number of clinical studies is performed in this patient population, physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models with integrated results from biorelevant in vitro dissolution studies could be used to assess differences in the bioavailability of drugs. Using this approach, budesonide was used as model drug and its performance in healthy subjects and CD patients was predicted and compared against observed pharmacokinetic data. The in vitro release tests, under healthy versus CD conditions, revealed a similar extent of drug release from a controlled-release budesonide formulation in the fasted state, whereas in the fed state a lower extent was observed with CD. Differences in the physiology of CD patients were identified in literature and their impact on budesonide performance was investigated with a PBPK model, revealing the highest impact on the simulated bioavailability for the reduced hepatic CYP3A4 enzyme abundance and lower human serum albumin concentration. For CD patients, a higher budesonide exposure compared to healthy subjects was predicted with a PBPK population adapted to CD physiology and in agreement with observed pharmacokinetic data. Budesonide performance in the fasted and fed state was successfully predicted in healthy subjects and CD patients using PBPK modeling and in vitro release testing. Following this approach, predictions of the direction and magnitude of changes in bioavailability due to CD could be made for other drugs and guide prescribers to adjust dosage regimens for CD patients accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105617
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Early online date24 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Oct 2020


  • Absorption
  • Bioavailability
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Pharmacokinetic modeling
  • Physiologically based pharmacokinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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