Stability of Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine Tablet Halves During Prolonged Storage Under Tropical Conditions.
ABSTRACT: Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) is recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria, used in efforts to contain artemisinin resistance, and increasingly considered for mass drug administration. Because of the narrow therapeutic dose range and available tablet strengths, the manufacturers and World Health Organization recommended regimens involve breaking tablets into halves to accurately dose children according to body weight. Use of tablet fractions in programmatic settings under tropical conditions requires a highly stable product; however, the stability of DP tablet fractions is unknown. We aged full and half DP (Eurartesim®) tablets in a stability chamber at 30°C and 70% humidity level. The active pharmaceutical ingredients dihydroartemisinin and piperaquine remained at ? 95% over the 3 months' period of ageing in light and darkness. These findings are reassuring for DP, but highlight the need to assess drug stability under real-life settings during the drug development process, particularly for key drugs of global disease control programs.
Project description:Artemisinin combination therapies are considered the mainstay of malaria treatment, but pediatric-friendly formulations for the treatment of infants are scarce. We sought to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a new dispersible-tablet formulation of dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine phosphate (DHA/PQP) in comparison to the marketed tablet (Eurartesim) in the treatment of infants with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Reported here are the results of a large phase II, randomized, open-label, multicenter trial conducted in African infants (6 to 12 months of age) from Mozambique, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania. Primary efficacy endpoint was the PCR-corrected adequate clinical and parasitological response (ACPR) at day 28. Analysis was performed for the intention-to-treat (ITT) and per-protocol (PP) populations. A total of 201 patients received the dispersible-tablet formulation, and 99 received the conventional one administered as crushed tablets. At day 28, the PCR-corrected ACPRs were 86.9% (ITT) and 98.3% (PP) in the dispersible-tablet group and 84.9% (ITT) and 100% (PP) in the crushed-tablet group. At day 42, these values were 85.9% (ITT) and 96.5% (PP) in the dispersible-tablet group and 82.8% (ITT) and 96.4% (PP) in the crushed-tablet group. The comparison between survival curves for time to new infections showed no statistically significant differences (P = 0.409). The safety and tolerability profile for the two groups was similar in terms of type and frequency of adverse events and was consistent with that expected in African infants with malaria. A standard 3-day treatment with the new dispersible DHA/PQP formulation is as efficacious as the currently used tablet in African infants and has a comparable safety profile. (This trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT01992900.).
Project description:BACKGROUND: This case study describes how a public-private partnership between Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Sigma-Tau Industrie Farmaceutiche Riunite SpA achieved international regulatory approval for use of the fixed-dose artemisinin-based combination therapy dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (Eurartesim®) for the treatment of malaria, enabling more widespread access to the medicine in malaria-endemic countries. CASE DESCRIPTION: The combination of dihydroartemisinin and piperaquine demonstrated success in clinical trials for the treatment of malaria in Asia and Africa in the 2000s. However, as it had not been developed to international regulatory standards it was out of the reach of the majority of patients in disease-endemic countries, particularly those reliant on public healthcare systems supported by international donor funding. To overcome this, as of 2004 MMV worked in partnership with Sigma-Tau, Holleykin, Oxford University, the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp, and the National Institute of Malaria Research India to develop the dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine combination to international standards. In 2011, the European Commission granted full marketing authorization to Sigma-Tau for Eurartesim. DISCUSSION AND EVALUATION: The partnership between MMV, Sigma-Tau, and numerous other academic and industrial partners across the world, led to the successful development to EMA regulatory standards of a high-quality and highly efficacious anti-malarial treatment that otherwise would not have been possible. The dossier has also been submitted to the WHO for prequalification, and a safety statement to guide correct use of Eurartesim has been produced. In July 2012, the first delivery to a disease-endemic country was made to Cambodia, where the medicine is being used to treat patients and help counter the emergence of artemisinin resistance in the area. A paediatric dispersible formulation of Eurartesim is being developed, with the objective to submit the dossier to the EMA by the end of 2014. CONCLUSIONS: The development of Eurartesim to international regulatory standards exemplifies the strengths of the product development partnership model in utilising the individual skills and expertise of partners with differing objectives to achieve a common goal. Successful uptake of Eurartesim by public health systems in malaria-endemic countries poses new challenges, which may require additional partnerships as we move forward.
Project description:Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) has demonstrated excellent efficacy for the treatment and prevention of malaria in Uganda. However, resistance to both components of this regimen has emerged in Southeast Asia. The efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine, the first-line regimen to treat malaria in Uganda, has also been excellent, but continued pressure may select for parasites with decreased sensitivity to lumefantrine. To gain insight into current drug sensitivity patterns, ex vivo sensitivities were assessed and genotypes previously associated with altered drug sensitivity were characterized for 58 isolates collected in Tororo, Uganda, from subjects presenting in 2016 with malaria from the community or as part of a clinical trial comparing DP chemoprevention regimens. Compared to community isolates, those from trial subjects had lower sensitivities to the aminoquinolines chloroquine, monodesethyl amodiaquine, and piperaquine and greater sensitivities to lumefantrine and mefloquine, an observation consistent with DP selection pressure. Compared to results for isolates from 2010 to 2013, the sensitivities of 2016 community isolates to chloroquine, amodiaquine, and piperaquine improved (geometric mean 50% inhibitory concentrations [IC50] = 248, 76.9, and 19.1 nM in 2010 to 2013 and 33.4, 14.9, and 7.5 nM in 2016, respectively [P < 0.001 for all comparisons]), the sensitivity to lumefantrine decreased (IC50 = 3.0 nM in 2010 to 2013 and 5.4 nM in 2016 [P < 0.001]), and the sensitivity to dihydroartemisinin was unchanged (IC50 = 1.4 nM). These changes were accompanied by decreased prevalence of transporter mutations associated with aminoquinoline resistance and low prevalence of polymorphisms recently associated with resistance to artemisinins or piperaquine. Antimalarial drug sensitivities are changing in Uganda, but novel genotypes associated with DP treatment failure in Asia are not prevalent.
Project description:Intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) for malaria is used in infants, children, adults, and pregnant women. Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) is an effective, well tolerated artemisinin-based combination therapy. The long half-life of piperaquine makes it attractive for IPT. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to establish the efficacy and safety of repeated treatment with DP.Following PRISMA guidelines, we searched multiple databases on Sept 1, 2016, with the terms: "human" AND "dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine" OR "DHA-PPQ". Studies were eligible if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or prospective cohort studies involving repeat exposures to standard 3-day courses of DP for either seasonal malaria chemoprevention, mass drug administration, or treatment of clinical malaria, conducted at any time and in any geographic location. Random-effects meta-analysis was used to generate pooled incidence rate ratios and relative risks, or risk differences.11 studies were included: two repeat treatment studies (one in children younger than 5 years and one in pregnant women), and nine IPT trials (five in children younger than 5 years, one in schoolchildren, one in adults, two in pregnant women). Comparator interventions included placebo, artemether-lumefantrine, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), SP+amodiaquine, SP+piperaquine, SP+chloroquine, and co-trimoxazole. Of 14?628 participants, 3935 received multiple DP courses (2-18). Monthly IPT-DP was associated with an 84% reduction in the incidence of malaria parasitaemia measured by microscopy compared with placebo. Monthly IPT-DP was associated with fewer serious adverse events than placebo, daily co-trimoxazole, or monthly SP. Among 56 IPT-DP recipients (26 children, 30 pregnant women) with cardiac parameters, all QTc intervals were within normal limits, with no significant increase in QTc prolongation with increasing courses of DP.Monthly DP appears well tolerated and effective for IPT. Additional data are needed in pregnancy and to further explore the cardiac safety with monthly dosing.Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NIH.
Project description:Background:In a recent trial of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) in Uganda, dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) was superior to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in preventing maternal and placental malaria. Methods:We compared genotypes using sequencing, fluorescent microsphere, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays at loci associated with drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum isolated from subjects receiving DP or SP. Results:Considering aminoquinoline resistance, DP was associated with increased prevalences of mutations at pfmdr1 N86Y, pfmdr1 Y184F, and pfcrt K76T compared to SP (64.6% vs 27.4%, P < .001; 93.9% vs 59.2%, P < .001; and 87.7% vs 75.4%, P = .03, respectively). Increasing plasma piperaquine concentration at the time of parasitemia was associated with increasing pfmdr1 86Y prevalence; no infections with the N86 genotype occurred with piperaquine >2.75 ng/mL. pfkelch13 propeller domain polymorphisms previously associated with artemisinin resistance were not identified. Recently identified markers of piperaquine resistance were uncommon and not associated with DP. Considering antifolate resistance, SP was associated with increased prevalence of a 5-mutation haplotype (pfdhfr 51I, 59R, and 108N; pfdhps 437G and 581G) compared to DP (90.8% vs 60.0%, P = .001). Conclusions:IPTp selected for genotypes associated with decreased sensitivity to treatment regimens, but genotypes associated with clinically relevant DP resistance in Asia have not emerged in Uganda.
Project description:The antimalarial drug piperaquine is associated with delayed ventricular depolarization, causing prolonged QT interval (time taken for ventricular de-polarisation and re-polarisation). There is a lack of safety data regarding dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine (DHA/PPQ) for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria, which has limited its use. We created a platform where electrocardiograms (ECG) were performed in public hospitals for the safety assessment of DHA/PPQ, at baseline before the use of dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine (Eurartesim®), and on day 3 (before and after administration of the final dose) and day 7 post-administration. Laboratory analyses included haematology and clinical chemistry. The main objective of the ECG assessment in this study was to evaluate the effect of administration of DHA/PPQ on QTc intervals and the association of QTc intervals with changes in blood biochemistry, full and differential blood count over time after the DHA/PPQ administration. A total of 1315 patients gave consent and were enrolled of which 1147 (87%) had complete information for analyses. Of the enrolled patients 488 (42%), 323 (28%), 213 (19%) and 123 (11%) were from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Mozambique, respectively. Median (lower-upper quartile) age was 8 (5-14) years and a quarter of the patients were children under five years of age (n = 287). Changes in blood biochemistry, full and differential blood count were temporal which remained within clinical thresholds and did not require any intervention. The mean QTcF values were significantly higher than on day 1 when measured on day 3 before and after administration of the treatment as well as on day 7, four days after completion of treatment (12, 22 and 4 higher, p < 0.001). In all age groups the values of QT, QTcF and QTcB were highest on day 3 after drug intake. The mean extreme QTcF prolongation from baseline was lowest on day 3 before drug intake (33 ms, SD = 19) and highest on day 3 after the last dose (60 ms, SD = 31). There were 79 (7%) events of extreme mean QTcF prolongation which were not clinically significant. Nearly a half of them (n = 37) were grade 3 and mainly among males (33/37). Patients in Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Tanzania had significantly lower mean QTcF than patients in Ghana by an average of 3, 4 and 11 ms, respectively. We found no evidence that Eurartesim® administered in therapeutic doses in patients with uncomplicated malaria and no predisposing cardiac conditions in Africa was associated with adverse clinically significant QTc prolongation.
Project description:Uganda recently adopted artemether-lumefantrine (AL) as the recommended first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria. However, AL has several limitations, including a twice-daily dosing regimen, recommendation for administration with fatty food, and a high risk of reinfection soon after therapy in high transmission areas. Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) is a new alternative artemisinin-based combination therapy that is dosed once daily and has a long post-treatment prophylactic effect. We compared the efficacy and safety of AL with DP in Kanungu, an area of moderate malaria transmission.Patients aged 6 months to 10 years with uncomplicated falciparum malaria were randomized to therapy and followed for 42 days. Genotyping was used to distinguish recrudescence from new infection. Of 414 patients enrolled, 408 completed follow-up. Compared to patients treated with artemether-lumefantrine, patients treated with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine had a significantly lower risk of recurrent parasitaemia (33.2% vs. 12.2%; risk difference = 20.9%, 95% CI 13.0-28.8%) but no statistically significant difference in the risk of treatment failure due to recrudescence (5.8% vs. 2.0%; risk difference = 3.8%, 95% CI -0.2-7.8%). Patients treated with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine also had a lower risk of developing gametocytaemia after therapy (4.2% vs. 10.6%, p = 0.01). Both drugs were safe and well tolerated.DP is highly efficacious, and operationally preferable to AL because of a less intensive dosing schedule and requirements. Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine should be considered for a role in the antimalarial treatment policy of Uganda.Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN75606663.
Project description:Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine is an artemisinin-based combination treatment (ACT) recommended by the WHO for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria, and it is being used increasingly for resistant vivax malaria where combination with primaquine is required for radical cure. The WHO recently reinforced its recommendations to add a single dose of primaquine to ACTs to reduce P. falciparum transmission in low-transmission settings. The pharmacokinetics of primaquine and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine were evaluated in 16 healthy Thai adult volunteers in a randomized crossover study. Volunteers were randomized to two groups of three sequential hospital admissions to receive 30 mg (base) primaquine, 3 tablets of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (120/960 mg), and the drugs together at the same doses. Blood sampling was performed over 3 days following primaquine and 36 days following dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine dosing. Pharmacokinetic assessment was done with a noncompartmental approach. The drugs were well tolerated. There were no statistically significant differences in dihydroartemisinin and piperaquine pharmacokinetics with or without primaquine. Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine coadministration significantly increased plasma primaquine levels; geometric mean ratios (90% confidence interval [CI]) of primaquine combined versus primaquine alone for maximum concentration (Cmax), area under the concentration-time curve from 0 h to the end of the study (AUC0-last), and area under the concentration-time curve from 0 h to infinity (AUC0-?) were 148% (117 to 187%), 129% (103 to 163%), and 128% (102 to 161%), respectively. This interaction is similar to that described recently with chloroquine and may result in an enhanced radical curative effect. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT01525511.).
Project description:Although dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) is used primarily in children, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) data on DP use in young children are lacking.We conducted a prospective PK/PD study of piperaquine in 107 young children in Uganda. Samples were collected up to 28 days after 218 episodes of malaria treatment, which occurred during follow-up periods of up to 5 months. Malaria follow-up was conducted actively to day 28 and passively to day 63.The median capillary piperaquine concentration on day 7 after treatment was 41.9 ng/mL. Low piperaquine concentrations were associated with an increased risk of recurrent malaria for up to 42 days, primarily in those receiving trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) prophylaxis. In children not receiving TMP-SMX, low piperaquine concentrations were only modestly associated with an increased risk of recurrent malaria. However, for children receiving TMP-SMX, associations were strong and evident for all sampling days, with PQ concentrations of ? 27.3 ng/mL on day 7 associated with a greatly increased risk of recurrent malaria. Notably, of 132 cases of recurrent malaria, 119 had detectable piperaquine concentrations at the time of presentation with recurrent malaria.These piperaquine PK/PD data represent the first in children <2 years of age. Piperaquine exposure on day 7 correlated with an increased risk of recurrent malaria after DP treatment in children receiving TMP-SMX prophylaxis. Interestingly, despite strong associations, infants remained at risk for malaria, even if they had residual levels of piperaquine.
Project description:Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine is an effective and well tolerated artemisinin-based combination therapy that has been assessed extensively for the prevention and treatment of malaria. Piperaquine, similar to several structurally related antimalarials currently used, can prolong cardiac ventricular repolarisation duration and the electrocardiographic QT interval, leading to concerns about its proarrhythmic potential. We aimed to assess the risk of potentially lethal iatrogenic ventricular arrhythmias in individuals receiving dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine.We did a systematic review and Bayesian meta-analysis. We searched clinical bibliographic databases (last on May 24, 2017) for studies of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine in human beings. Further unpublished studies were identified with the WHO Evidence Review Group on the Cardiotoxicity of Antimalarials. We searched for articles containing "dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine" as title, abstract, or subject heading keywords, with synonyms and variant spellings as additional search terms. We excluded animal studies, but did not apply limits on language or publication date. Eligible studies were prospective, randomised, controlled trials or cohort studies in which individuals received at least one 3-day treatment course of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine for mass drug administration, preventive therapy, or case management of uncomplicated malaria, with follow-up over at least 3 days. At least two independent reviewers screened titles, abstracts, and full texts, agreed study eligibility, and extracted information about study and participant characteristics, adverse event surveillance methodology, dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine exposures, loss-to-follow up, and any deaths after dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine treatment into a standardised database. The risk of sudden unexplained death after dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine with 95% credible intervals (CI) generated by Bayesian meta-analysis was compared with the baseline rate of sudden cardiac death.Our search identified 94 eligible primary studies including data for 197?867 individuals who had received dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine: 154?505 in mass drug administration programmes; 15?188 in 14 studies of repeated courses in preventive therapies and case management of uncomplicated malaria; and 28?174 as single-course treatments of uncomplicated malaria in 76 case-management studies. There was one potentially drug-related sudden unexplained death: a healthy woman aged 16 in Mozambique who developed heart palpitations several hours after the second dose of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine and collapsed and died on the way to hospital (no autopsy or ECG was done). The median pooled risk estimate of sudden unexplained death after dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine was 1 in 757?950 (95% CI 1 in 2?854?490 to 1 in 209?114). This risk estimate was not higher than the baseline rate of sudden cardiac death (0·7-11·9 per 100?000 person-years or 1 in 1?714?280 to 1 in 100?835 over a 30-day risk period). The risk of bias was low in most studies and unclear in a few.Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine was associated with a low risk of sudden unexplained death that was not higher than the baseline rate of sudden cardiac death. Concerns about repolarisation-related cardiotoxicity need not limit its current use for the prevention and treatment of malaria.Wellcome Trust, UK Medical Research Council, WHO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and University of Oxford.