ABSTRACT: Transscleral retinal delivery of celecoxib, an anti-inflammatory and anti-VEGF agent, is restricted by its poor solubility and binding to the melanin pigment in choroid-RPE. The purpose of this study was to develop soluble prodrugs of celecoxib with reduced pigment binding and enhanced retinal delivery. Three hydrophilic amide prodrugs of celecoxib, celecoxib succinamidic acid (CSA), celecoxib maleamidic acid (CMA), and celecoxib acetamide (CAA) were synthesized and characterized for solubility and lipophilicity. In vitro melanin binding to natural melanin (Sepia officinalis) was estimated for all three prodrugs. In vitro transport studies across isolated bovine sclera and sclera-choroid-RPE (SCRPE) were performed. Prodrug with the highest permeability across SCRPE was characterized for metabolism and cytotoxicity and its in vivo transscleral delivery in pigmented rats. Aqueous solubilities of CSA, CMA, and CAA were 300-, 182-, and 76-fold higher, respectively, than celecoxib. Melanin binding affinity and capacity were significantly lower than for celecoxib for all three prodrugs. Rank order for the % in vitro transport across bovine sclera and SCRPE was CSA > CMA ~ CAA ~ celecoxib, with the transport being 8-fold higher for CSA than celecoxib. CSA was further assessed for its metabolic stability and in vivo delivery. CSA showed optimum metabolic stability in all eye tissues with only 10-20% conversion to parent celecoxib in 30 min. Metabolic enzymes responsible for bioconversion included amidases, esterase, and cytochrome P-450. In vivo delivery in pigmented BN rats showed that CSA had 4.7-, 1.4-, 3.3-, 6.0-, and 4.5-fold higher delivery to sclera, choroid-RPE, retina, vitreous, and lens than celecoxib. CSA has no cytotoxicity in ARPE-19 cells in the concentration range of 0.1 to 1000 μM. Celecoxib succinamidic acid, a soluble prodrug of celecoxib with reduced melanin binding, enhances transscleral retinal delivery of celecoxib.
Molecular Pharmaceutics 03/2012; 9(3):605-14. · 4.78 Impact Factor