Journal Article

Preclinical Safety Evaluation of Avasimibe in Beagle Dogs: An ACAT Inhibitor with Minimal Adrenal Effects

Donald G. Robertson, Michael A. Breider and Mark A. Milad

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 59, issue 2, pages 324-334
Published in print February 2001 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online February 2001 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Preclinical Safety Evaluation of Avasimibe in Beagle Dogs: An ACAT Inhibitor with Minimal Adrenal Effects

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Avasimibe, a novel inhibitor of acyl coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT), is currently being developed as an antiatherosclerotic agent. The preclinical safety and toxicokinetics of the compound were assessed in beagle dogs in an escalating-dose study and in repeated-dose studies of 2-, 13-, and 52-week duration. Oral (capsule) doses up to 1000 mg/kg b.i.d. were assessed in the escalating dose study and once-a-day doses up to 300 mg/kg, 1000 mg/kg, and 1000 mg/kg were assessed in the 2-, 13-, and 52-week studies, respectively. Avasimibe was found to be a substrate and inducer of hepatic CYP 3A, producing pronounced decreases in plasma drug concentrations subsequent to Day 1. Plasma drug concentrations plateaued markedly at doses above 100 mg/kg. Significant toxicologic findings were restricted to the higher doses (≥300 mg/kg) and included emesis, fecal consistency changes, salivation, body weight loss, microscopic and clinical pathologic evidence of hepatic toxicity, and red blood cell (RBC) morphology changes. Mortality occurred at 1000 mg/kg due to hepatic toxicity. Toxicity was more closely associated with the exaggerated pharmacodynamic effects of the compound (e.g., marked serum cholesterol decreases) seen at the high doses of avasimibe used in these studies rather than with measures of systemic exposure (Cmax or AUC). Adrenal effects were noted only in the 52-week study and consisted of minimal to mild cortical cytoplasmic vacuolization and fibrosis at doses ≥300 mg/kg, with no change in adrenal weight. In conclusion, avasimibe is an ACAT inhibitor that has minimal adrenal effects in dogs, with dose-limiting toxicity defined by readily monitored and reversible changes in hepatic function.

Keywords: avasimibe; ACAT inhibitor; dog toxicity; adrenal toxicity

Journal Article.  6047 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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