Nonlinear Mixed Effects Methods for Improved Estimation of Receptor Occupancy in PET Studies

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: Receptor occupancy assessed by Positron Emission Tomography (PET) can provide important translational information to help bridge information from one drug to another or from animal to man. The aim of this thesis was to develop nonlinear mixed effects methods for estimation of the relationship between drug exposure and receptor occupancy for the two mGluR5 antagonists AZD9272 and AZD2066 and for the 5HT1B receptor antagonist AZD3783. Also the optimal design for improved estimation of the relationship between drug exposure and receptor occupancy as well as for improved dose finding in neuropathic pain treatment, was investigated.Different modeling approaches were applied. For AZD9272, the radioligand kinetics and receptor occupancy was simultaneously estimated using arterial concentrations as input function and including two brain regions of interest. For AZD2066, a model was developed where brain/plasma partition coefficients from ten different brain regions were included simultaneously as observations. For AZD3783, the simplified reference tissue model was extended to allow different non-specific binding in the reference region and brain regions of interest and the possibility of using white matter as reference was also evaluated. The optimal dose-selection for improved precision of receptor occupancy as well as for improved precision of the minimum effective dose of a neuropathic pain treatment was assessed, using the D-optimal as well as the Ds-optimal criteria.Simultaneous modelling of radioligand and occupancy provided a means to avoid simplifications or approximations and provided the possibility to tests or to relax assumptions. Inclusion of several brain regions of different receptor density simultaneously in the analysis, markedly improved the precision of the affinity parameter. Higher precision was achieved in relevant parameters with designs based on the Ds compared to the D-optimal criterion. The optimal design for improved precision of the relationship between dose and receptor occupancy depended on the number of brain regions and the receptor density of these regions.In conclusion, this thesis presents novel non-linear mixed effects models estimating the relationship between drug exposure and receptor occupancy, providing useful translational information, allowing for a better informed drug-development.