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HSK21542, a synthetic short-chain polypeptide, is a selective peripheral kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonist. In this single-centre, non-randomized, open-label study, the pharmacokinetics, mass balance, metabolism and excretion of HSK21542 were investigated. A single intravenous dose of 2 μg/0.212 μCi/kg [14C]HSK21542 was administered to six healthy male subjects. Samples of blood, urine and faeces were collected for quantitative determination of total radioactivity and unchanged HSK21542, and identification of metabolites. The mean total recovery was 81.89% of the radiolabelled dose over 240 h post-dose, with 35.60% and 46.30% excreted in faeces and urine, respectively. The mean maximum concentration (Cmax), the half-life (t1/2) and the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC0-t) of total radioactivity (TRA) in plasma were 20.4 ±4.16 ng Eq./g, 1.93 ± 0.322 h and 21.8 ± 2.93 h·ng Eq./g, respectively, while the Cmax, t1/2 and the AUC0-t of unchanged HSK21542 were 18.3 ± 3.36 ng/mL, 1.66 ± 0.185 h and 18.4 ± 2.24 h·ng/mL, respectively. The blood-to-plasma ratios of TRA at several times ranged from 0.46 to 0.54. [14C]HSK21542 was detected as the main circulating substance in plasma, accounting for 92.17% of the AUC of TRA. The unchanged parent compound was the only major radioactive chemical in urine (100.00% of TRA) and faeces (93.53% of TRA). Metabolites were very minor components. HSK21542 was barely metabolized in vivo and mainly excreted with unchanged HSK21542 as its main circulating component in plasma. It was speculated that renal excretion was the principal excretion pathway, and faecal excretion was the secondary pathway. NCT05835934. © 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


Jin-Jie Yuan, Yi-Cong Bian, Sheng Ma, Wei Chen, Feng-Yi Zhang, Hua Zhang, Li-Yan Miao. Pharmacokinetics, Mass Balance and Metabolism of [14C]HSK21542, a Novel Kappa Opioid Receptor Agonist, in Humans. European journal of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. 2023 Nov;48(6):723-731

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PMID: 37833493

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