Metabolism and pharmacokinetics of a double prodrug of ganciclovir in the rat and monkey.Drug Metab Dispos 1995; 23(11):1242-7DM
Ganciclovir (GCV), which is used in the treatment of human cytomegalovirus infections, is poorly absorbed orally. A double prodrug of GCV, the dipivalate ester of 6-deoxy-GCV (6-dGCV) (called 6-dGCV-DPiv), was given orally to rats (25 mg/kg) and resulted in a nearly 7-fold enhancement of GCV bioavailability compared with administration of GCV alone and a 2-fold increase compared with administration of 6-dGCV. The prodrug was rapidly hydrolyzed and extensively oxidized by first-pass metabolism in such a way that only GCV, 6-dGCV, and a small amount of the monopivalate ester of 6-dGCV were observed in rat plasma. In cynomolgus monkey was given the prodrug orally (22.5 mg/kg), two additional metabolites were observed--the 8-hydroxy analogs of GCV and dGCV. The double prodrug approach demonstrated the potential for enhanced oral delivery of GCV in humans.