Ethoxycarbonyloxyethyl ester of ceftezole (CFZ-ET) was synthesized as a prodrug by esterification of ceftezole (CFZ) with ethoxycarbonyloxyethyl chloride and was confirmed by spectroscopic analyses. CFZ-ET was more lipophillic than CFZ as assessed by n-octanol and water partition coefficients at various pH. CFZ-ET itself did not show any microbiological activity in vitro, but showed substaintial microbiological activity after oral administration of CFZ-ET, indicating that CFZ-ET is converted to microbiologically active metabolite, probably CFZ, in the body. When CFZ-ET was incubated in blood, liver and intestine homogenates of rabbits, liver homogenate showed the fastest conversion of CFZ-ET. CFZ-ET appears rapidly metabolized in the liver when given orally due to the hydrolysis of the ester to CFZ, the parent drug of CFZ-ET. In vivo metabolism of CFZ-ET to CFZ was confirmed in rabbit by HPLC analysis. CFZ-ET were higher than those in the serum samples taken after oral administration of equivalent amount of CFZ. Oral bioavailability of CFZ-ET was 1.5-fold higher than that of CFZ in rabbits because of enhanced lipophilicity and absorption. Based on these findings, CFZ-ET appears useful as a prodrug of CFZ to improve the oral bioavailability of CFZ.
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