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1.
Sci Data ; 9(1): 405, 2022 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931428

ABSTRACT

Worldwide, there are intensive efforts to identify repurposed drugs as potential therapies against SARS-CoV-2 infection and the associated COVID-19 disease. To date, the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone and (to a lesser extent) the RNA-polymerase inhibitor remdesivir have been shown to be effective in reducing mortality and patient time to recovery, respectively, in patients. Here, we report the results of a phenotypic screening campaign within an EU-funded project (H2020-EXSCALATE4COV) aimed at extending the repertoire of anti-COVID therapeutics through repurposing of available compounds and highlighting compounds with new mechanisms of action against viral infection. We screened 8702 molecules from different repurposing libraries, to reveal 110 compounds with an anti-cytopathic IC50 < 20 µM. From this group, 18 with a safety index greater than 2 are also marketed drugs, making them suitable for further study as potential therapies against COVID-19. Our result supports the idea that a systematic approach to repurposing is a valid strategy to accelerate the necessary drug discovery process.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Discovery , Drug Repositioning , Humans
2.
Antiviral Res ; 200: 105294, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757111

ABSTRACT

Despite recent advancements in the development of vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapies for Ebola virus disease, treatment options remain limited. Moreover, management and containment of Ebola virus outbreaks is often hindered by the remote nature of the locations in which the outbreaks originate. Small-molecule compounds offer the advantage of being relatively cheap and easy to produce, transport and store, making them an interesting modality for the development of novel therapeutics against Ebola virus disease. Furthermore, the repurposing of small-molecule compounds, previously developed for alternative applications, can aid in reducing the time needed to bring potential therapeutics from bench to bedside. For this purpose, the Medicines for Malaria Venture provides collections of previously developed small-molecule compounds for screening against other infectious diseases. In this study, we used biologically contained Ebola virus to screen over 4,200 small-molecule drugs and drug-like compounds provided by the Medicines for Malaria Venture (i.e., the Pandemic Response Box and the COVID Box) and the Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3, KU Leuven, Belgium). In addition to confirming known Ebola virus inhibitors, illustrating the validity of our screening assays, we identified eight novel selective Ebola virus inhibitors. Although the inhibitory potential of these compounds remains to be validated in vivo, they represent interesting compounds for the study of potential interventions against Ebola virus disease and might serve as a basis for the development of new therapeutics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ebolavirus , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , DNA Viruses , Humans
3.
J Med Virol ; 94(7): 3101-3111, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756615

ABSTRACT

Although vaccines are currently used to control the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, treatment options are urgently needed for those who cannot be vaccinated and for future outbreaks involving new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strains or coronaviruses not covered by current vaccines. Thus far, few existing antivirals are known to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 and clinically successful against COVID-19. As part of an immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a high-throughput, high content imaging-based SARS-CoV-2 infection assay was developed in VeroE6 African green monkey kidney epithelial cells expressing a stable enhanced green fluorescent protein (VeroE6-eGFP cells) and was used to screen a library of 5676 compounds that passed Phase 1 clinical trials. Eight drugs (nelfinavir, RG-12915, itraconazole, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, sematilide, remdesivir, and doxorubicin) were identified as inhibitors of in vitro anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in VeroE6-eGFP and/or Caco-2 cell lines. However, apart from remdesivir, toxicity and pharmacokinetic data did not support further clinical development of these compounds for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Pandemics
4.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327354

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Although vaccines are currently used to control the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, treatment options are urgently needed for those who cannot be vaccinated and for future outbreaks involving new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strains or coronaviruses not covered by current vaccines. Thus far, few existing antivirals are known to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 and clinically successful against COVID-19. As part of an immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a high-throughput, high content imaging–based SARS-CoV-2 infection assay was developed in VeroE6-eGFP cells and was used to screen a library of 5676 compounds that passed phase 1 clinical trials. Eight candidates (nelfinavir, RG-12915, itraconazole, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, sematilide, remdesivir, and doxorubicin) with in vitro anti–SARS-CoV-2 activity in VeroE6-eGFP and/or Caco-2 cell lines were identified. However, apart from remdesivir, toxicity and pharmacokinetic data did not support further clinical development of these compounds for COVID-19 treatment.

5.
Antiviral Res ; 198: 105252, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654043

ABSTRACT

We assessed the in vitro antiviral activity of remdesivir and its parent nucleoside GS-441524, molnupiravir and its parent nucleoside EIDD-1931 and the viral protease inhibitor nirmatrelvir against the ancestral SARS-CoV2 strain and the five variants of concern including Omicron. VeroE6-GFP cells were pre-treated overnight with serial dilutions of the compounds before infection. The GFP signal was determined by high-content imaging on day 4 post-infection. All molecules have equipotent antiviral activity against the ancestral virus and the VOCs Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron. These findings are in line with the observation that the target proteins of these antivirals (respectively the viral RNA dependent RNA polymerase and the viral main protease Mpro) are highly conserved.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Hydroxylamines/therapeutic use , Lactams/therapeutic use , Leucine/therapeutic use , Nitriles/therapeutic use , Proline/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine/therapeutic use , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/therapeutic use , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cytidine/therapeutic use , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-297047

ABSTRACT

Despite recent advancements in the development of vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapies for Ebola virus disease, treatment options remain limited. Moreover, management and containment of Ebola virus outbreaks is often hindered by the remote nature of the locations in which the outbreaks originate. Small-molecule compounds offer the advantage of being relatively cheap and easy to produce, transport and store, making them an interesting modality for the development of novel therapeutics against Ebola virus disease. Furthermore, the repurposing of small-molecule compounds, previously developed for alternative applications, can aid in reducing the time needed to bring potential therapeutics from bench to bedside. For this purpose, the Medicines for Malaria Venture provides collections of previously developed small-molecule compounds for screening against other infectious diseases. In this study, we used biologically contained Ebola virus to screen over 4,200 small-molecule drugs and drug-like compounds provided by the Medicines for Malaria Venture (i.e., the Pandemic Response Box and the COVID Box) and the Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3, KU Leuven, Belgium). In addition to confirming known Ebola virus inhibitors, illustrating the validity of our screening assays, we identified eight novel selective Ebola virus inhibitors. Although the inhibitory potential of these compounds remains to be validated in vivo, they represent interesting compounds for the study of potential interventions against Ebola virus disease and might serve as a basis for the development of new therapeutics.

7.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295917

ABSTRACT

Effective therapies are needed to combat emerging viruses. Seventeen candidates that rescue cells from SARS-CoV-2-induced lethality and target diverse functions emerged in a screen of 4,413 compounds. Among the hits was lapatinib, an approved inhibitor of the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases. Lapatinib and other pan-ErbB inhibitors suppress replication of SARS-CoV-2 and unrelated viruses with a high barrier to resistance. ErbB4, but not lapatinib’s cancer targets ErbB1 and ErbB2, is required for SARS-CoV-2 entry and encephalitis alphavirus infection and is a molecular target mediating lapatinib’s antiviral effect. In human lung organoids, lapatinib protects from SARS-CoV-2-induced activation of pathways implicated in non-infectious acute lung injury and fibrosis downstream of ErbBs (p38-MAPK, MEK/ERK, and AKT/mTOR), pro-inflammatory cytokine production, and epithelial barrier injury. These findings reveal regulation of viral infection, inflammation, and lung injury via ErbBs and propose approved candidates to counteract these effects with implications for pandemic coronaviruses and unrelated viruses.

9.
EBioMedicine ; 66: 103288, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141720

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The antifungal drug itraconazole exerts in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2 in Vero and human Caco-2 cells. Preclinical and clinical studies are required to investigate if itraconazole is effective for the treatment and/or prevention of COVID-19. METHODS: Due to the initial absence of preclinical models, the effect of itraconazole was explored in a clinical, proof-of-concept, open-label, single-center study, in which hospitalized COVID-19 patients were randomly assigned to standard of care with or without itraconazole. Primary outcome was the cumulative score of the clinical status until day 15 based on the 7-point ordinal scale of the World Health Organization. In parallel, itraconazole was evaluated in a newly established hamster model of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission, as soon as the model was validated. FINDINGS: In the hamster acute infection model, itraconazole did not reduce viral load in lungs, stools or ileum, despite adequate plasma and lung drug concentrations. In the transmission model, itraconazole failed to prevent viral transmission. The clinical trial was prematurely discontinued after evaluation of the preclinical studies and because an interim analysis showed no signal for a more favorable outcome with itraconazole: mean cumulative score of the clinical status 49 vs 47, ratio of geometric means 1.01 (95% CI 0.85 to 1.19) for itraconazole vs standard of care. INTERPRETATION: Despite in vitro activity, itraconazole was not effective in a preclinical COVID-19 hamster model. This prompted the premature termination of the proof-of-concept clinical study. FUNDING: KU Leuven, Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO), Horizon 2020, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Itraconazole/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/transmission , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Female , Humans , Itraconazole/administration & dosage , Itraconazole/pharmacokinetics , Itraconazole/therapeutic use , Male , Mesocricetus , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Proof of Concept Study , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Treatment Outcome , Vero Cells
10.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5838, 2020 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933686

ABSTRACT

Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19 has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. In search for key targets of effective therapeutics, robust animal models mimicking COVID-19 in humans are urgently needed. Here, we show that Syrian hamsters, in contrast to mice, are highly permissive to SARS-CoV-2 and develop bronchopneumonia and strong inflammatory responses in the lungs with neutrophil infiltration and edema, further confirmed as consolidations visualized by micro-CT alike in clinical practice. Moreover, we identify an exuberant innate immune response as key player in pathogenesis, in which STAT2 signaling plays a dual role, driving severe lung injury on the one hand, yet restricting systemic virus dissemination on the other. Our results reveal the importance of STAT2-dependent interferon responses in the pathogenesis and virus control during SARS-CoV-2 infection and may help rationalizing new strategies for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , STAT2 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Animals , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Cricetinae , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , STAT2 Transcription Factor/genetics , Virus Replication
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