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Assessing Effects Of BHV-0223 40 Mg Zydis Sublingual Formulation And Riluzole 50 Mg Oral Tablet On Liver Function Test Parameters Utilizing DILIsym

Diane M Longo, Lisl K M Shoda, Brett A Howell, Vladimir Coric, Robert M Berman, Irfan A Qureshi

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Abstract For patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who take oral riluzole tablets, approximately 50% experience alanine transaminase (ALT) levels above upper limit of normal (ULN), 8% above 3× ULN, and 2% above 5× ULN. BHV-0223 is a novel 40 mg rapidly sublingually disintegrating (Zydis) formulation of riluzole, bioequivalent to conventional riluzole 50 mg oral tablets, that averts the need for swallowing tablets and mitigates first-pass hepatic metabolism, thereby potentially reducing risk of liver toxicity. DILIsym is a validated multiscale computational model that supports evaluation of liver toxicity risks. DILIsym was used to compare the hepatotoxicity potential of oral riluzole tablets (50 mg BID) versus BHV-0223 (40 mg BID) by integrating clinical data and in vitro toxicity data. In a simulated population (SimPops), ALT levels > 3× ULN were predicted in 3.9% (11/285) versus 1.4% (4/285) of individuals with oral riluzole tablets and sublingual BHV-0223, respectively. This represents a relative risk reduction of 64% associated with BHV-0223 versus conventional riluzole tablets. Mechanistic investigations revealed that oxidative stress was responsible for the predicted ALT elevations. The validity of the DILIsym representation of riluzole and assumptions is supported by its ability to predict rates of ALT elevations for riluzole oral tablets comparable with that observed in clinical data. Combining a mechanistic, quantitative representation of hepatotoxicity with interindividual variability in both susceptibility and liver exposure suggests that sublingual BHV-0223 confers diminished rates of liver toxicity compared with oral tablets of riluzole, consistent with having a lower overall dose of riluzole and bypassing first-pass liver metabolism.