Atovaquone and Proguanil Hydrochloride (Page 4 of 6)

12.4 Microbiology

Mechanism of Action

The constituents of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride tablets, atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride, interfere with 2 different pathways involved in the biosynthesis of pyrimidines required for nucleic acid replication. Atovaquone is a selective inhibitor of parasite mitochondrial electron transport. Proguanil hydrochloride primarily exerts its effect by means of the metabolite cycloguanil, a dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor. Inhibition of dihydrofolate reductase in the Plasmodium parasite disrupts deoxythymidylate synthesis.

Antimicrobial Activity

Atovaquone and cycloguanil (an active metabolite of proguanil) are active against the erythrocytic and exoerythrocytic stages of P. Falciparum. Enhaced efficacy of the combination compared with either atovaquone or proguanil hydrochloride alone was demonstrated in clinical trials in both immune and non-immune patients [see Clinical Studies (14.1, 14.2)].

Resistance

Strains of P. falciparum with decreased susceptibility to atovaquone or proguanil/cycloguanil alone can be selected in vitro of in vivo. The combination of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride may not be effective for treatment of recrudescent malaria that develops after prior therapy with the combination.

13 NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY

13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Genotoxicity studies have not been performed with atovaquone in combination with proguanil. Effects of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride on male and female reproductive performance are unknown.

Atovaquone:

A 24-month carcinogenicity study in CD rats was negative for neoplasms at doses up to 500 mg/kg/day corresponding to approximately 54 times the average steady-state plasma concentrations in humans during prophylaxis of malaria. In CD-1 mice, a 24-month study showed treatment-related increases in incidence of hepatocellular adenoma and hepatocellular carcinoma at all doses tested (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg/day) which correlated with at least 15 times the average steady-state plasma concentrations in humans during prophylaxis of malaria.

Atovaquone was negative with or without metabolic activation in the Ames Salmonella mutagenicity assay, the Mouse Lymphoma mutagenesis assay, and the cultured human lymphocyte cytogenetic assay. No evidence of genotoxicity was observed in the in vivo Mouse Micronucleus assay.

Atovaquone administered by oral gavage in doses of 100, 300, or 1,000 mg/kg/day to adult male rats from 73 days prior to mating until 20 days after mating and to adult female rats from 14 days prior to mating until LD20 did not impair male or female fertility or early embryonic development at doses up to 1,000 mg/kg/day corresponding to plasma exposures of approximately 7.3 times the estimated human exposure for the treatment of malaria based on AUC.

Proguanil:

No evidence of a carcinogenic effect was observed in 24-month studies conducted in CD-1 mice at doses up to 16 mg/kg/day corresponding to 1.5 times the average human plasma exposure during prophylaxis of malaria based on AUC, and in Wistar Hannover rats at doses up 20 mg/kg/day corresponding to 1.1 times the average human plasma exposure during prophylaxis of malaria based on AUC.

Proguanil was negative with or without metabolic activation in the Ames Salmonella mutagenicity assay and the Mouse Lymphoma mutagenesis assay. No evidence of genotoxicity was observed in the in vivo Mouse Micronucleus assay.

Cycloguanil, the active metabolite of proguanil, was also negative in the Ames test, but was positive in the Mouse Lymphoma assay and the Mouse Micronucleus assay. These positive effects with cycloguanil, a dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor, were significantly reduced or abolished with folinic acid supplementation.

Proguanil administered orally in doses of 4, 8, and 16 mg/kg/day to male rats from 29 days prior to mating until 27 days after mating and to females from 15 days prior to mating through GD7 revealed no adverse effects on adult male or female fertility or early embryonic development at doses up to 16 mg/kg/day (up to 0.04 times the average human exposure for the treatment of malaria based on AUC). Fertility studies or proguanil in animals at exposures similar to or greater than those observed in humans have not been conducted.

13.2 Animal Toxicology and/or Pharmacology

Fibrovascular proliferation in the right atrium, pyelonephritis, bone marrow hypocellularity, lymphoid atrophy, and gastritis/enteritis were observed in dogs treated with proguanil hydrochloride for 6 months at a dose of 12 mg/kg/day (approximately 3.9 times the recommended daily human dose for malaria prophylaxis on a mg/m2 basis). Bile duct hyperplasia, gall bladder mucosal atrophy, and interstitial pneumonia were observed in dogs treated with proguanil hydrochloride for 6 months at a dose of 4 mg/kg/day (approximately 1.3 times the recommended daily human dose for malaria prophylaxis on a mg/m2 basis). Mucosal hyperplasia of the cecum and renal tubular basophilia were observed in rats treated with proguanil hydrochloride for 6 months at a dose of 20 mg/kg/day (approximately 1.6 times the recommended daily human dose for malaria prophylaxis on a mg/m2 basis). Adverse heart, lung, liver, and gall bladder effects observed in dogs and kidney effects observed in rats were not shown to be reversible.

14 CLINICAL STUDIES

14.1 Prevention of P. falciparum Malaria

Atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride was evaluated for prophylaxis of P. falciparum malaria in 5 clinical trials in malaria-endemic areas and in 3 active-controlled trials in non-immune travelers to malaria-endemic areas.

Three placebo-controlled trials of 10 to 12 weeks’ duration were conducted among residents of malaria-endemic areas in Kenya, Zambia, and Gabon. The mean age of subjects was 30 (range: 17 to 55), 32 (range: 16 to 64), and 10 (range: 5 to16) years, respectively. Of a total of 669 randomized patients (including 264 pediatric patients 5 to 16 years), 103 were withdrawn for reasons other than falciparum malaria- or drug-related adverse events (55% of these were lost to follow-up and 45% were withdrawn for protocol violations). The results are listed in Table 6.

Table 6. Prevention of Parasitemiaa in Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials of Atovaquone and Proguanil hydrochloride for Prophylaxis of P. falciparum Malaria in Residents of Malaria-Endemic Areas

Atovaquone and Proguanil hydrochloride

Placebo

Total number of patients randomized

326

343

Failed to complete study

57

46

Developed parasitemia (P. falciparum)

2

92

a Free of parasitemia during the 10- to 12-week period of prophylactic therapy.

In another study, 330 Gabonese pediatric patients (weighing 13 to 40 kg, and aged 4 to 14 years) who had received successful open-label radical cure treatment with artesunate, were randomized to receive either atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride (dosage based on body weight) or placebo in a double-blind fashion for 12 weeks. Blood smears were obtained weekly and any time malaria was suspected. Nineteen of the 165 children given atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride and 18 of 165 patients given placebo withdrew from the study for reasons other than parasitemia (primary reason was lost to follow-up). One out of 150 evaluable patients (<1%) who received atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride developed P. falciparum parasitemia while receiving prophylaxis with atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride compared with 31 (22%) of the 144 evaluable placebo recipients.

In a 10-week study in 175 South African subjects who moved into malaria-endemic areas and were given prophylaxis with 1 atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride Tablet daily, parasitemia developed in 1 subject who missed several doses of medication. Since no placebo control was included, the incidence of malaria in this study was not known.

Two active-controlled trials were conducted in non-immune travelers who visited a malaria-endemic area. The mean duration of travel was 18 days (range: 2 to 38 days). Of a total of 1,998 randomized patients who received atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride or controlled drug, 24 discontinued from the study before follow-up evaluation 60 days after leaving the endemic area. Nine of these were lost to follow-up, 2 withdrew because of an adverse experience, and 13 were discontinued for other reasons. These trials were not large enough to allow for statements of comparative efficacy. In addition, the true exposure rate to P. falciparum malaria in both trials is unknown. The results are listed in Table 7.

Table 7. Prevention of Parasitemiaa in Active-Controlled Clinical Trials of Atovaquone and Proguanil hydrochloride for Prophylaxis of P. falciparum Malaria in Non-Immune Travelers

Atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride

Mefloquine

Chloroquine plus Proguanil

Total number of randomized patients who received study drug

1,004

483

511

Failed to complete study

14

6

4

Developed parasitemia (P. falciparum)

0

0

3

a Free of parasitemia during the period of prophylactic therapy.

A third randomized, open-label study was conducted which included 221 otherwise healthy pediatric patients (weighing ≥11 kg and 2 to 17 years of age) who were at risk of contracting malaria by traveling to an endemic area. The mean duration of travel was 15 days (range: 1 to 30 days). Prophylaxis with atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride (n = 110, dosage based on body weight) began 1 or 2 days before entering the endemic area and lasted until 7 days after leaving the area. A control group (n = 111) received prophylaxis with chloroquine/proguanil dosed according to WHO guidelines. No cases of malaria occurred in either group of children. However, the study was not large enough to allow for statements of comparative efficacy. In addition, the true exposure rate to P. falciparum malaria in this study is unknown.

Causal Prophylaxis

In separate trials with small numbers of volunteers, atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride were independently shown to have causal prophylactic activity directed against liver-stage parasites of P. falciparum. Six patients given a single dose of atovaquone 250 mg 24 hours prior to malaria challenge were protected from developing malaria, whereas all 4 placebo-treated patients developed malaria.

During the 4 weeks following cessation of prophylaxis in clinical trial participants who remained in malaria-endemic areas and were available for evaluation, malaria developed in 24 of 211 (11.4%) subjects who took placebo and 9 of 328 (2.7%) who took atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride. While new infections could not be distinguished from recrudescent infections, all but 1 of the infections in patients treated with atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride occurred more than 15 days after stopping therapy. The single case occurring on day 8 following cessation of therapy with atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride probably represents a failure of prophylaxis with atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride. The possibility that delayed cases of P. falciparum malaria may occur some time after stopping prophylaxis with atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride cannot be ruled out. Hence, returning travelers developing febrile illnesses should be investigated for malaria.

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