Safety, tolerability and toxicokinetics of the novel mitochondrial drug SUL-138 administered orally to rat and minipig

Daniël H Swart, Martin de Haan, Jasper Stevens, Rob H Henning, Sovan Adel, Adrianus C van der Graaf, Nadir Ulu, Daan J Touw, Guido Krenning*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Noncommunicable Chronic Diseases (NCD) are a socioeconomic burden and considered one of the major health challenges for coming decades. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated mechanistically in their pathophysiology. Therefore, targeting mitochondria holds great promise to improve clinical outcomes in NCDs. SUL-138, an orally bioavailable small molecule efficacious from 0.5 mg/kg, improves mitochondrial function during disease in several preclinical animal models. As preparation for a First-in-Human (FIH) trial, SUL-138 was investigated in 30-day GLP repeated dose toxicity studies in rat and minipig, selected based on their comparability with human metabolism, to determine toxicokinetics, potential toxicity and its reversibility. Rats were allocated to either vehicle, 27, 136 or 682 mg/kg SUL-138 dose groups and minipigs were allocated to either vehicle, 16, 82 or 409 mg/kg. Treatment occurred orally for 30 days followed by a recovery period of 14 days. During these studies clinical observations, toxicokinetic, clinical pathology, necropsy and histopathology evaluations were performed. There was significant systemic exposure to SUL-138 and toxicokinetics was characterized by a rapid absorption and elimination. In the rat, toxicokinetics was dose-proportional and AUC 0-tlast ratios in both species indicated that SUL-138 does not accumulate in vivo. No treatment-related adverse effects were observed for dose levels up to 136 and 82 mg/kg/day in rat and minipig respectively. In conclusion, these preclinical studies demonstrate that SUL-138 is well tolerated after repeated administration in rat and minipig, with NOAELs of 136 and 82 mg/kg/day, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-355
Number of pages11
JournalToxicology Reports
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2024

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