J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2021 Jul 31;205:114293. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2021.114293. Online ahead of print.
Lefamulin (Xenleta®) is a first in-class systemic pleuromutilin antibiotic that inhibits bacterial protein synthesis and selectively binds to a highly conserved region of the peptidyl transferase center of the bacterial 50S ribosomal subunit. A total of twenty-five Phase 1 clinical studies, one Phase 2 study in acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI), and two pivotal Phase 3 studies in adults with community acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) have been completed. Xenleta® (lefamulin) has been approved by the FDA on August 19, 2019, by Health Canada on July 10, 2020, and by the EMA on July 28, 2020 for the oral and IV treatment of CABP in adults. For and during the clinical development, simple, sensitive, precise, and selective LC-MS/MS methods were developed and validated, first for lefamulin alone and later for the simultaneous quantification of lefamulin and its main metabolite 2R-hydroxy lefamulin in human plasma. Chromatographic separation in the current method was achieved on a reverse phase C18 column using gradient elution at a flowrate of 500 μL/min consisting of a mobile phase of water (A) and methanol (B) each containing 0.1 % formic acid (v/v) with a run time of 8.0 min. The detection and quantification of the analytes were performed on AB Sciex Triple Quad 5500 using multiple reaction monitoring operated in positive electrospray ionization mode after a simple plasma protein precipitation cleanup and dilution. The method was linear over the concentration range of 1.00-1 000 ng/mL (r ≥ 0.999) for lefamulin und 1.00-500 ng/mL (r ≥ 0.999) for 2R-hydroxy lefamulin. No significant matrix effects and a good extraction recovery were observed. The within- and between-run precision and accuracy were within the acceptable limits, and both analytes were found to be stable throughout the short term, long term, and freeze thaw stability studies. This current validated method was successfully applied in five Phase 1 and two Phase 3 studies.