Toxicokinetics is the assessment of systemic exposure in toxicity studies, in which pharmacokinetic data are generated, either as an integral component in the conduct of the nonclinical toxicity studies or in specially designed supportive studies, in order to assess systemic exposure. The data may be used in the interpretation of toxicity findings and contribute to the assessment of the relevance of these findings to clinical safety. Data may be obtained from all animals in a toxicity study, in representative subgroups, in satellite groups or in separate studies. Applying a mixed effects modelling approach in toxicokinetics offers many advantages over the current approach of having satellite groups. Sparse samples for measuring drug/metabolite concentration are collected in all main animals in the majority of studies where toxicological findings are obtained. Such sampling is unlikely to distress the animals, disturb the conduct of a toxicological study or affect the outcome of the study. Many of the outcome measures in toxicological studies are categorical in nature. For example, lesions may be scored on a one to four scale, from none to severe. The analysis of such data is usually carried out using a general mixed modelling approach. We have implemented such models in a nonlinear mixed effects modelling framework which allows us to relate pharmacokinetic response to outcome. A case study is used to illustrate the principles of general mixed effects modelling in toxicokinetics. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
- Nonlinear mixed effects modelling