Addressing the Clinical Importance of Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporters in Drug Discovery and Development

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA), and Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) guidances on small-molecule drug–drug interactions (DDIs), with input from the International Transporter Consortium (ITC), recommend the evaluation of nine drug transporters. Although other clinically relevant drug uptake and efflux transporters have been discussed in ITC white papers, they have been excluded from further recommendation by the ITC and are not included in current regulatory guidances. These include the ubiquitously expressed equilibrative nucleoside transporters (ENT) 1 and ENT2, which have been recognized by the ITC for their potential role in clinically relevant nucleoside analog drug interactions for patients with cancer. Although there is comparatively limited clinical evidence supporting their role in DDI risk or other adverse drug reactions (ADRs) compared with the nine highlighted transporters, several in vitro and in vivo studies have identified ENT interactions with non-nucleoside/non-nucleotide drugs, in addition to nucleoside/nucleotide analogs. Some noteworthy examples of compounds that interact with ENTs include cannabidiol and selected protein kinase inhibitors, as well as the nucleoside analogs remdesivir, EIDD-1931, gemcitabine, and fialuridine. Consequently, DDIs involving the ENTs may be responsible for therapeutic inefficacy or off-target toxicity. Evidence suggests that ENT1 and ENT2 should be considered as transporters potentially involved in clinically relevant DDIs and ADRs, thereby warranting further investigation and regulatory consideration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-794
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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