Novamass Ltd

Oulu, Finland

Novamass Ltd

Oulu, Finland
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Hokkanen J.,Novamass Ltd. | Hokkanen J.,University of Oulu | Tolonen A.,Novamass Ltd. | Mattila S.,University of Oulu | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences | Year: 2011

The metabolism of hyperforin, one of the pharmacologically most active components of St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), was characterized in vitro using human liver microsomes and recombinant heterologously expressed P450 enzymes. A total of 57 hyperforin metabolites were detected. Of those, six were identified as monohydroxylations (M1-M6), while the others were formed via two or more hydroxylation reactions, via dehydrogenation, or by combinations of these reactions. A combined approach of cDNA-expressed recombinant CYPs, CYP-selective chemical inhibitors and correlation with CYP-specific marker activities indicated a central role of the CYP2C and CYP3A families in the metabolism of hyperforin. In addition, hyperforin was found to inhibit CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 model activities quite potently. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Hakkarainen J.J.,University of Eastern Finland | Jalkanen A.J.,University of Eastern Finland | Kaariainen T.M.,University of Eastern Finland | Keski-Rahkonen P.,University of Eastern Finland | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Pharmaceutics | Year: 2010

Although several in vitro models have been reported to predict the ability of drug candidates to cross the blood-brain barrier, their real in vivo relevance has rarely been evaluated. The present study demonstrates the in vivo relevance of simple unidirectional permeability coefficient (P app) determined in three in vitro cell models (BBMEC, Caco-2 and MDCKII-MDR1) for nine model drugs (alprenolol, atenolol, metoprolol, pindolol, entacapone, tolcapone, baclofen, midazolam and ondansetron) by using dual probe microdialysis in the rat brain and blood as an in vivo measure. There was a clear correlation between the P app and the unbound brain/blood ratios determined by in vivo microdialysis (BBMEC r=0.99, Caco-2 r=0.91 and MDCKII-MDR1 r=0.85). Despite of the substantial differences in the absolute in vitro P app values and regardless of the method used (side-by-side vs. filter insert system), the capability of the in vitro models to rank order drugs was similar. By this approach, thus, the additional value offered by the true endothelial cell model (BBMEC) remains obscure. The present results also highlight the need of both in vitro as well as in vivo methods in characterization of blood-brain barrier passage of new drug candidates. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Siissalo S.,Aalto University | Siissalo S.,University of Helsinki | Laine L.,Aalto University | Tolonen A.,Novamass Ltd | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Pharmaceutics | Year: 2010

The human intestinal cell line, Caco-2, was used to study compounds - indomethacin, paracetamol and 1-naphthol - that undergo intestinal phase II metabolism followed by apical and/or basolateral efflux of the metabolites and/or parent compounds. The interplay was studied during permeability experiments across fully differentiated Caco-2 cell monolayers. The parent compounds and their glucuronide and/or sulfate metabolites were detected by LC-MS/MS. Conjugation of the model compounds and effluxes of their metabolites were observed. The efflux of indomethacin glucuronide was apical, but complementary basolateral efflux was observed at the highest indomethacin concentration (500 μM), probably due to apical saturation. Paracetamol glucuronide was not formed in these experiments, but apical and basolateral effluxes of paracetamol sulfate were observed. A typical bell-shaped inhibition curve was observed for the formation of 1-naphthol glucuronides, indicating substrate or product inhibition of the UGT enzyme(s) at higher 1-naphthol concentrations (200 μM and 500 μM). Based on these results, the fully differentiated Caco-2 cell monolayers can be applied as a platform for qualitative in vitro studies, where phase II metabolism and efflux activities are ongoing simultaneously. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Heikkinen A.T.,University of Eastern Finland | Heikkinen A.T.,Biocenter Kuopio | Korjamo T.,Novamass Ltd. | Monkkonen J.,University of Eastern Finland | Monkkonen J.,Biocenter Kuopio
Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology | Year: 2010

One major prerequisite for an orally administered drug is the ability to cross the intestinal epithelia from intestinal lumen into the blood circulation. Therefore, the absorption potential of molecules is studied early on during the drug development process. Permeation experiments using cultured cell monolayers are one of the most often applied methods to screen and also to predict in more detail the intestinal absorption potential of molecules in preclinical phase. Furthermore, these studies are also used to screen the molecules for transporter interactions as well as for more detailed mechanistic studies of the transfer routes involved. Several mathematical and computational models with complexity varying from simple non-mechanistic single barrier models to mechanistically more detailed compartmental models have been developed to describe the drug disposition during these in vitro permeation experiments. This MiniReview gives an overview of these models and their applications. Also the implications of these models to the prediction of intestinal absorption in vivo are discussed. © 2009 Nordic Pharmacological Society.


Antherieu S.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Antherieu S.,University of Rennes 1 | Chesne C.,Biopredic International | Li R.,Biopredic International | And 8 more authors.
Drug Metabolism and Disposition | Year: 2010

HepaRG cells possess the unique property to differentiate in vitro and to express various functions of mature hepatocytes, including the major cytochromes P450 (P450s). In the present study, we carefully analyzed mRNA expression and activity of the major P450s and their responsiveness to three prototypical inducers, phenobarbital, rifampicin, and omeprazole, in differentiated HepaRG cell cultures over a 4-week period after low and high seeding. Only minor differences were observed in P450 activities when measured by two cocktails of probe substrates, probably related to the choice and/or concentration of substrates. Similar results were obtained from the two cell seeding conditions. Expression and activities of several P450s were dimethyl sulfoxidedependent. However, basal P450 expression and activities as well as their responsiveness to the prototypical inducers were well maintained over the 4-week period, and a good correlation was observed between transcript levels and corresponding activities. Thus, CYP1A2, CYP2B6, and CYP3A4 were found to accurately respond to their respective prototypical inducers, i.e., omeprazole, phenobarbital, and rifampicin. Likewise, basal expression of several phase II enzymes, transporters, and nuclear receptors, and response to inducers were also well preserved. More genes were found to be induced in HepaRG cells than in primary human hepatocytes, and no marked variation was noticed between the different passages. Taken together, these data support the conclusion that HepaRG cells represent a promising surrogate to primary human hepatocytes for xenobiotic metabolism and toxicity studies. Copyright © 2010 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.


Zhang H.,University of Helsinki | Tolonen A.,Novamass Ltd. | Rousu T.,Novamass Ltd. | Hirvonen J.,Aalto University | Finel M.,University of Helsinki
Drug Metabolism and Disposition | Year: 2011

Cell differentiation increases UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) gene expression in Caco-2 cells. Glucuronidation of 13 UGT substrates, 1-naphthol, diclofenac, epitestosterone, estradiol, ethinylestradiol, indomethacin, oxazepam, R- and S-propranolol, propofol, testosterone, trifluoperazine, and zidovudine, were studied to derive a broad view on the effect of cell differentiation on the glucuronidation activities of different human UGTs. In parallel, the glucuronidation of these compounds in human liver microsomes (HLM) and human intestinal microsomes (HIM) was analyzed. Because many of the substrates are highly lipophilic, the effects of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) concentrations in the reaction mixture on glucuronidation rates were tested, as well as the effect of alamethicin, a pore-forming peptide. Large differences were observed in the effects of DMSO and alamethicin between recombinant UGTs and Caco-2 cells and HLM and HIM, and, therefore, the activity assays were performed under multiple conditions. Regardless of the assay conditions, however, the results clearly indicated that although differentiation increases glucuronidation activity, the rates in Caco-2 cells are mostly very low, much lower than those in either HLM or HIM. One clear exception was observed: substrates of UGT1A6, such as 1-naphthol, were glucuronidated at very high rates in both undifferentiated and differentiated Caco-2 cells. It may thus be concluded that Caco-2 cells, even differentiated ones, do not provide a good model system to assess first-pass drug glucuronidation in the intestine. Copyright © 2011 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.


Pellinen P.,Santen Oy | Huhtala A.,University of Tampere | Tolonen A.,Novamass Ltd | Lokkila J.,Santen Oy | And 2 more authors.
Current Eye Research | Year: 2012

Purpose: To investigate the cytotoxicity of benzalkonium chloride (BAC)-containing ophthalmic solutions of prostaglandin analogs (latanoprost, travoprost, bimatoprost, and preservative-free (PF) tafluprost), BAC mixture (BACmix) and BAC homologs with different alkyl chain lengths using human corneal epithelial (HCE) and conjunctival epithelial (IOBA-NHC) cell cultures. The distribution of BAC homologs in rabbit ocular surface tissues in vivo was examined. Methods: The cells were exposed for one hour to prostaglandin analogs, BACmix and three homologs. Cytotoxicity was assessed with the WST-1 and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays for cellular viability and cell membrane integrity. BAC 0.02% solution was instilled on the rabbit eye daily for 14 days and the concentrations of BAC homologs in external ocular tissues were determined. Results: The order of decreasing cytotoxicity in the WST-1 test was latanoprost ≥ travoprost > bimatoprost ≥ PF tafluprost. IOBA-NHC cells were more sensitive than HCE cells. In HCE, only latanoprost diluted to 10% increased LDH leakage. In IOBA-NHC, LDH leakage was statistically significant with 310% travoprost and 10% latanoprost. The order of decreasing cytotoxicity of preservatives was C14 > C12 > BACmix > C16 in HCE and C12 > C14 > BACmix > C16 in IOBA-NHC. Following treatment with BAC 0.02% solution, the amounts of BAC-C12, -C14 and -C16 in rabbit cornea and conjunctiva, respectively were: 0.37±0.08 and 2.64±0.27ng/mg; 0.42±0.07 and 4.77±0.43ng/mg; 0.04±0.01 and 0.54±0.05ng/mg. Conclusions: The cytotoxic effects of latanoprost, travoprost, and bimatoprost were dependent on the BAC concentration in their formulations. BACmix was cytotoxic at the concentrations above those corresponding to 0.001% BAC in ophthalmic medications. PF tafluprost was the least toxic of the drugs tested. Within studied BAC homologs, those with longer alkyl chain and higher lipophility penetrated effectively into rabbit external ocular tissues. © 2012 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.


Rousu T.,Novamass Ltd. | Rousu T.,University of Oulu | Herttuainen J.,A.P.Pharma | Tolonen A.,Novamass Ltd.
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry | Year: 2010

Liquid chromatography in combination with mass spectrometry (LC/MS) is a superior analytical technique for metabolite profiling and identification studies performed in drug discovery and development laboratories. In the early phase of drug discovery the analytical approach should be both time- and cost-effective, thus providing as much data as possible with only one visit to the laboratory, without the need for further experiments. Recent developments in mass spectrometers have created a situation where many different mass spectrometers are available for the task, each with their specific strengths and drawbacks. We compared the metabolite screening properties of four main types of mass spectrometers used in analytical laboratories, considering both the ability to detect the metabolites and provide structural information, as well as the issues related to time consumption in laboratory and thereafter in data processing. Human liver microsomal incubations with amitriptyline and verapamil were used as test samples, and early-phase 'one lab visit only' approaches were used with all instruments. In total, 28 amitriptyline and 69 verapamil metabolites were found and tentatively identified. Time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) was the only approach detecting all of them, shown to be the most suitable instrument for elucidating as comprehensive metabolite profile as possible leading also to lowest overall time consumption together with the LTQ-Orbitrap approach. The latter however suffered from lower detection sensitivity and false negatives, and due to slow data acquisition rate required slower chromatography. Approaches with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (QqQ) and hybrid linear ion trap triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (Q-Trap) provided the highest amount of fragment ion data for structural elucidation, but, in addition to being unable to produce very high-important accurate mass data, they suffered from many false negatives, and especially with the QqQ, from very high overall time consumption. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Tolonen A.,Novamass Ltd. | Tolonen A.,Admescope Ltd. | Koskimies P.,Hormos Medical Ltd. | Turpeinen M.,University of Oulu | And 3 more authors.
Drug Metabolism and Drug Interactions | Year: 2013

Background: The metabolism of ospemifene, a novel nonsteroidal selective estrogen receptor modulator, was investigated as part of its development. Methods: Metabolite identification, tentative quantitation, and CYP assignment of ospemifene were performed in human liver microsomes or homogenate incubations and in plasma samples from volunteer humans. The potential contributions of CYP enzymes were determined by recombinant human CYPs. Metabolite identification and tentative quantification were performed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results: The relative abundances of metabolites produced were dependent on ospemifene concentration and liver preparation, but the largest quantities of 4- and 4'-hydroxy-ospemifene (and their glucuronides in smaller quantities) were produced in human liver microsomes at low ospemifene concentrations. Other metabolites were detected in in vitro incubation with human liver including a direct glucuronide of ospemifene and some metabolites with only minor abundance. In human plasma samples, 4-hydroxy-ospemifene was the most abundant metabolite, representing about 25% of the abundance of the parent compound. All the other metabolites detected in plasma, including 4'-hydroxyospemifene, represented <7% of the abundance of ospemifene. Several CYP enzymes participated in 4-hydroxylation, including CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2B6, and CYP3A4, whereas CYP3A enzymes were the only ones to catalyze 4'-hydroxylation. Conclusions: In vitro incubations with liver preparations provided a rather reliable starting point in the search for potential metabolites in clinical settings. The in vitro metabolite profile is informative for the in vivo metabolite profile, especially regarding the major hydroxylated metabolites. However, it is anticipated that extended in vivo exposures may result in an increased production of more distal metabolites from major metabolites.


Rousu T.,University of Oulu | Rousu T.,Novamass Ltd. | Tolonen A.,University of Oulu | Tolonen A.,Admescope Ltd.
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry | Year: 2011

Reactive metabolites are estimated to be one of the main reasons behind unexpected drug-induced toxicity, by binding covalently to cell proteins or DNA. Due to their high reactivity and short lifespan, reactive metabolites are analyzed after chemical trapping with nucleophilic agents such as glutathione or cyanide. Recently, unexplained and uncharacterized methylated reaction products were reported in a human liver microsome based reactive metabolite trapping assay utilizing potassium cyanide as a trapping agent. Here, a similar assay was utilized to produce mono- or dimethylated and further cyanide-trapped reaction products from propranolol, amlodipine and ciprofloxacin, followed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC/TOF-MS) and ultra-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC/MS/MS) experiments for their more detailed structural elucidation. Formation of all observed cyanide-trapped products was clearly NADPH-dependent and thus metabolism-mediated. The suggested reaction pathways included N-methylation leading to iminium formation in primary and/or secondary amines preceded by cytochrome P450 (CYP)-mediated reactions. As the methylation reaction was suggested to be involved in formation of the actual reactive iminium ion, the observed cyanide-trapped products were experimental artifacts rather than trapped reactive metabolites. The results stress that to avoid overestimating the formation of reactive metabolites in vitro, this methylation phenomenon should be taken into account when interpreting the results of cyanide-utilizing reactive metabolite trapping assays. This in turn emphasizes the importance of identification of the observed cyano conjugates during such studies. Yet, metabolite identification has a high importance to avoid overestimation of in vitro metabolic clearance in the cases where this kind of metabonate formation has a high impact in the disappearance rate of the compound. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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