Abstract

The emergence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains resistant to current first-line antibiotic regimens constitutes a major global health threat. New treatments against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are thus eagerly needed in particular in countries with a high MDR-TB prevalence. In this context, macozinone (PBTZ169), a promising drug candidate with an unique mode of action and highly potent in vitro tuberculocidal properties against MDR Mycobacterium strains, has now reached the clinical phase and has been notably tested in healthy male volunteers in Switzerland. To that endeavor, a multiplex UHPLC-MS/MS method has been developed for the sensitive and accurate human plasma levels determination of PBTZ169 along with five metabolites retaining in vitro anti-TB activity. Plasma protein precipitation with methanol was carried out as a simplified sample clean-up procedure followed by direct injection of the undiluted supernatant for the bioanalysis of the six analytes within 5 min, using 1.8 mu m reversed-phase chromatography coupled to triple quadrupole mass spectrometry employing electrospray ionization in the positive mode. Stable isotopically-labelled PBTZ169 was used as internal standard (ISTD), while metabolites could be reliably quantified using two unlabeled chemical analogues selected as ISTD from a large in-house analogous compounds library. The overall methodology was fully validated according to current recommendations (FDA, EMEA) for bioanalytical methods, which include selectivity, carryover, qualitative and quantitative matrix effect, extraction recovery, process efficiency, trueness, precision, accuracy profiles, method and instrument detection limits, integrity to dilution, anticoagulant comparison and short-and long-term stabilities. Stability studies on the reduced metabolite H-2-PBTZ169 have shown no significant impact on the actual PBTZ169 concentrations determined with the proposed assay. This simplified, rapid, sensitive and robust methodology has been applied to the bioanalysis of human plasma samples collected within the frame of a phase I clinical study in healthy volunteers receiving PBTZ169.

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