Approaches to Dose Finding in Neonates, Illustrating the Variability Between Neonatal Drug Development Programs

  • Publication Date :
  • Publication Type : Journal Article
  • Author(s) : Van den Anker JN, McCune S, Annaert P, Baer GR, Mulugeta Y, Abdelrahman R, Wu K, Krudys KM, Fisher J, Slikker W, Chen C, Burckart GJ, Allegaert K
  • Journal Name : Pharmaceutics

Drug dosing in neonates should be based on integrated knowledge concerning the disease to be treated, the physiological characteristics of the neonate, and the pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) of a given drug. It is critically important that all sources of information be leveraged to optimize dose selection for neonates. Sources may include data from adult studies, pediatric studies, non-clinical (juvenile) animal models, in vitro studies, and in silico models. Depending on the drug development program, each of these modalities could be used to varying degrees and with varying levels of confidence to guide dosing. This paper aims to illustrate the variability between neonatal drug development programs for neonatal diseases that are similar to those seen in other populations (meropenem), neonatal diseases related but not similar to pediatric or adult populations (clopidogrel, thyroid hormone), and diseases unique to neonates (caffeine, surfactant). Extrapolation of efficacy from older children or adults to neonates is infrequently used. Even if a disease process is similar between neonates and children or adults, such as with anti-infectives, additional dosing and safety information will be necessary for labeling, recognizing that dosing in neonates is confounded by maturational PK in addition to body size.

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