Purpose: Sepantronium bromide (YM155) is a hydrophilic quaternary compound that cannot be administered orally due to its low oral bioavailability; it is furthermore rapidly eliminated via the kidneys. The current study aims at improving the pharmacokinetic profile of YM155 by its formulation in immunoliposomes that can achieve its enhanced delivery into tumor tissue and facilitate uptake in neuroblastoma cancer cells.
Methods: PEGylated YM155 loaded liposomes composed of DPPC, cholesterol and DSPE-PEG2000 were prepared via passive film-hydration and extrusion method. Targeted (i.e. immuno-)liposomes were prepared by surface functionalization with SATA modified monoclonal anti-disialoganglioside (GD2) antibodies. Liposomes were characterized based on their size, charge, antibody coupling and YM155 encapsulation efficiency, and stability. Flow cytometry analysis and confocal microscopy were performed on IMR32 and KCNR neuroblastoma cell lines. The efficacy of developed formulations were assessed by in-vitro toxicity assays. A pilot pharmacokinetic analysis was performed to assess plasma circulation and tumor accumulation profiles of the developed liposomal formulations.
Results: YM155 loaded immunoliposomes had a size of 170 nm and zeta potential of -10 mV, with an antibody coupling efficiency of 60% andYM155 encapsulation efficiency of14%. Targeted and control liposomal formulations were found to have similar YM155 release rates in a release medium containing 50% serum. An in-vitro toxicity study on KCNR cells showed less toxicity for immunoliposomes as compared to free YM155. In-vivo pharmacokinetic evaluation of YM155 liposomes showed prolonged blood circulation and significantly increased half-lives of liposomal YM155 in tumor tissue, as compared to a bolus injection of free YM155.
Conclusions: YM155 loaded immunoliposomes were successfully formulated and characterized, and initial in-vivo results show their potential for improving the circulation time and tumor accumulation of YM155.
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