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Strategies for Assessing Acceptable Intakes for Novel N-Nitrosamines Derived from Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

Ponting DJ; Dobo KL; Kenyon MO; Kalgutkar AS;

The detection of N-nitrosamines, derived from solvents and reagents and, on occasion, the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) at higher than acceptable levels in drug products, has led regulators to request a detailed review for their presence in all medicinal products. In the absence of rodent carcinogenicity data for novel N-nitrosamines derived from amine-containing APIs, a conservative class limit of 18 ng/day (based on the most carcinogenic N-nitrosamines) or the derivation of acceptable intakes (AIs) using structurally related surrogates with robust rodent carcinogenicity data is recommended. The guidance has implications for the pharmaceutical industry given the vast number of marketed amine-containing drugs. In this perspective, the rate-limiting step in N-nitrosamine carcinogenicity, involving cytochrome P450-mediated a-carbon hydroxylation to yield DNA-reactive diazonium or carbonium ion intermediates, is discussed with reference to the selection of read-across analogs to derive AIs. Risk-mitigation strategies for managing putative N-nitrosamines in the preclinical discovery setting are also presented.