Didanosine is a synthetic nucleoside analogue of the naturally occurring nucleoside deoxyadenosine in which the 3′-hydroxyl group is replaced by hydrogen. Intracellularly, didanosine is converted by cellular enzymes to the active metabolite, dideoxyadenosine 5′-triphosphate. Dideoxyadenosine 5′-triphosphate inhibits the activity of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase both by competing with the natural substrate, deoxyadenosine 5′-triphosphate, and by its incorporation into viral DNA causing termination of viral DNA chain elongation.
The anti-HIV-1 activity of didanosine was evaluated in a variety of HIV-1 infected lymphoblastic cell lines and monocyte/macrophage cell cultures. The concentration of drug necessary to inhibit viral replication by 50% (EC50 ) ranged from 2.5 to 10 μM (1 μM = 0.24 μg/mL) in lymphoblastic cell lines and 0.01 to 0.1 μM in monocyte/macrophage cell cultures.
HIV-1 isolates with reduced sensitivity to didanosine have been selected in cell culture and were also obtained from patients treated with didanosine. Genetic analysis of isolates from didanosine-treated patients showed amino acid substitutions K65R, L74V, and M184V in reverse transcriptase. The L74V substitution was most frequently observed in clinical isolates. Phenotypic analysis of HIV-1 isolates from 60 patients (some with prior zidovudine treatment) receiving 6 to 24 months of didanosine monotherapy showed that isolates from 10 of 60 patients exhibited an average of a 10-fold decrease in susceptibility to didanosine in cell culture compared to baseline isolates. Clinical isolates that exhibited a decrease in didanosine susceptibility harbored one or more didanosine resistance-associated substitutions.
HIV-1 isolates from 2 of 39 patients receiving combination therapy for up to 2 years with didanosine and zidovudine exhibited decreased susceptibility to didanosine, lamivudine, stavudine, and zidovudine in cell culture. These isolates harbored five substitutions (A62V, V75I, F77L, F116Y, and Q151M) in reverse transcriptase. In data from clinical studies, the presence of thymidine analogue mutation substitutions (M41L, D67N, L210W, T215Y, K219Q) has been shown to decrease the response to didanosine.
Lifetime carcinogenicity studies were conducted in mice and rats for 22 and 24 months, respectively. In the mouse study, initial doses of 120, 800, and 1200 mg/kg/day for each sex were lowered after 8 months to 120, 210, and 210 mg/kg/day for females and 120, 300, and 600 mg/kg/day for males. The two higher doses exceeded the maximally tolerated dose in females and the high dose exceeded the maximally tolerated dose in males. The low dose in females represented 0.68-fold maximum human exposure and the intermediate dose in males represented 1.7-fold maximum human exposure based on relative AUC comparisons. In the rat study, initial doses were 100, 250, and 1000 mg/kg/day, and the high dose was lowered to 500 mg/kg/day after 18 months. The upper dose in male and female rats represented 3-fold maximum human exposure.
Didanosine induced no significant increase in neoplastic lesions in mice or rats at maximally tolerated doses.
Didanosine was positive in the following genetic toxicology assays: 1) the Escherichia coli tester strain WP2 uvrA bacterial mutagenicity assay; 2) the L5178Y/TK+/- mouse lymphoma mammalian cell gene mutation assay; 3) the in vitro chromosomal aberrations assay in cultured human peripheral lymphocytes; 4) the in vitro chromosomal aberrations assay in Chinese Hamster Lung cells; and 5) the BALB/c 3T3 in vitro transformation assay. No evidence of mutagenicity was observed in an Ames Salmonella bacterial mutagenicity assay or in rat and mouse in vivo micronucleus assays.
Reproduction studies have been performed in rats and rabbits at doses up to 12 and 14 times the estimated human exposure at the recommended daily human dose of VIDEX EC, respectively, and have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to didanosine.
Evidence of a dose-limiting skeletal muscle toxicity has been observed in mice and rats (but not in dogs) following long-term (greater than 90 days) dosing with didanosine at doses that were approximately 1.2 to 12 times the estimated human exposure. The relationship of this finding to the potential of didanosine to cause myopathy in humans is unclear. However, human myopathy has been associated with administration of didanosine and other nucleoside analogues.
Study AI454-152 was a 48-week, randomized, open-label study comparing VIDEX EC (400 mg once daily) plus stavudine (40 mg twice daily) plus nelfinavir (750 mg three times daily) to zidovudine (300 mg) plus lamivudine (150 mg) combination tablets twice daily plus nelfinavir (750 mg three times daily) in 511 treatment-naive patients, with a mean CD4 cell count of 411 cells/mm3 (range 39 to 1105 cells/mm3) and a mean plasma HIV-1 RNA of 4.71 log10 copies/mL (range 2.8 to 5.9 log10 copies/mL) at baseline. Patients were primarily males (72%) and Caucasian (53%) with a mean age of 35 years (range 18 to 73 years). The percentages of patients with HIV-1 RNA less than 400 and less than 50 copies/mL and outcomes of patients through 48 weeks are summarized in Figure 1 and Table 13, respectively.
|Outcome||Percent of Patients with HIV-1 RNA less than 400 copies/mL (less than 50 copies/mL)|
|VIDEX EC + stavudine + nelfinavir n=258||zidovudine/lamivudinea + nelfinavir n=253|
|a Zidovudine/lamivudine combination tablet.b Corresponds to rates at Week 48 in Figure 1.c Subjects achieved and maintained confirmed HIV-1 RNA less than 400 copies/mL (less than 50 copies/mL) through Week 48.d Includes viral rebound at or before Week 48 and failure to achieve confirmed HIV-1 RNA less than 400 copies/mL (less than 50 copies/mL) through Week 48.e Includes lost to follow-up, subject’s withdrawal, discontinuation due to physician’s decision, never treated, and other reasons.|
Death or discontinued due to disease progression
Discontinued due to adverse event
Discontinued due to other reasonse
Efficacy in pediatric patients was demonstrated in a randomized, double-blind, controlled study (ACTG 152, conducted 1991-1995) involving 831 patients 3 months to 18 years of age treated for more than 1.5 years with zidovudine (180 mg/m2 every 6 hours), didanosine (120 mg/m2 every 12 hours), or zidovudine (120 mg/m2 every 6 hours) plus didanosine (90 mg/m2 every 12 hours). Patients treated with didanosine or didanosine plus zidovudine had lower rates of HIV-1 disease progression or death compared with those treated with zidovudine alone.
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