Absorption mechanism of edaravone (EDR) was studied to inform the preparation of gastric retention pellets with the aim to enhance its oral bioavailability. Three different models, namely, Caco-2 cells model, in situ single-pass intestinal perfusion model, and everted gut sac model in rats, were employed to characterize the gastrointestinal absorption kinetics of EDR. And it was found that passive transfer plays a vital role for the transport of EDR, and acidic condition is preferable for EDR absorption. Further, it is likely that EDR acts as a substrate for P-glycoprotein and multidrug-resistance protein. And hence, an orally available gastric retention pellets were developed accordingly. Pharmacokinetic experiments performed with rats and beagles showed that the absolute bioavailability of EDR solution and enteric-coated pellets following oral administration were 33.85% ± 2.45% and 7.64% ± 1.03%, indicating that stomach absorption is better than intestinal adsorption for EDR. However, the gastric retention pellets resulted in 68.96% absolute bioavailability and about 200% relative bioavailability in comparison to EDR solution, which was 9 times that of enteric-coated pellets. The present work demonstrates that gastric retention pellets has excellent potential as oral administration route for EDR.
- high density gastric retention pellets
- pH dependent
- absorption mechanism
- oral bioavailability