Use of quantitative in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (QIVIVE) for the assessment of non-combustible next-generation product aerosols

April 11, 2024

Marjory Moreau1*  Liam Simms2 Melvin E. Andersen1 Edgar Trelles Sticken3 Roman Wieczorek3 Sarah Jean Pour3 Fiona Chapman2 Karin Roewer3 Sandra Otte3 Jeffrey Fisher1 Matthew Stevenson2Roman Wieczorek3

(1) ScitoVation, LLC, Research Triangle Park, NC 27713, USA

(2) Imperial Brands, PLC, Bristol, United Kingdom

(3) Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH, An Imperial Brands PLC Company, Hamburg, Germany


With the use of in vitro new approach methodologies (NAMs) for the assessment of non-combustible next-generation nicotine delivery products, new extrapolation methods will also be required to interpret and contextualize the physiological relevance of these results. Quantitative in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (QIVIVE) can translate in vitro concentrations into in-life exposures with physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modelling and provide estimates of the likelihood of harmful effects from expected exposures. A major challenge for evaluating inhalation toxicology is an accurate assessment of the delivered dose to the surface of the cells and the internalized dose. To estimate this, we ran the multiple-path particle dosimetry (MPPD) model to characterize particle deposition in the respiratory tract and developed a PBPK model for nicotine that was validated with human clinical trial data for cigarettes. Finally, we estimated a Human Equivalent Concentration (HEC) and predicted plasma concentrations based on the minimum effective concentration (MEC) derived after acute exposure of BEAS-2B cells to cigarette smoke (1R6F), or heated tobacco product (HTP) aerosol at the air liquid interface (ALI). The MPPD-PBPK model predicted the in vivo data from clinical studies within a factor of two, indicating good agreement as noted by WHO International Programme on Chemical Safety (2010) guidance. We then used QIVIVE to derive the exposure concentration (HEC) that matched the estimated in vitro deposition point of departure (POD) (MEC cigarette = 0.38 puffs or 11.6 µg nicotine, HTP = 22.9 puffs or 125.6 µg nicotine) and subsequently derived the equivalent human plasma concentrations. Results indicate that for the 1R6F cigarette, inhaling 1/6th of a stick would be required to induce the same effects observed in vitroin vivo. Whereas, for HTP it would be necessary to consume 3 sticks simultaneously to induce in vivo the effects observed in vitro. This data further demonstrates the reduced physiological potency potential of HTP aerosol compared to cigarette smoke. The QIVIVE approach demonstrates great promise in assisting human health risk assessments, however, further optimization and standardization are required for the substantiation of a meaningful contribution to tobacco harm reduction by alternative nicotine delivery products.