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1.
Viruses ; 14(5):951, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1820417

ABSTRACT

The emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and the replacement of preceding isolates have been observed through B.1.1.7, B.1.351, B.1.617.2, and B.1.1.529 lineages (corresponding to alpha, beta, delta, and omicron variants of concern (VoC), respectively). However, there is still a lack of biological evidence to which extent those VoC differ from the ancestral lineages. By exploiting human airway epithelial cell (HAEC) cultures, which closely resemble the human airway architecture and physiology, we report distinctive SARS-CoV-2 tropism in different respiratory tissues. In general, SARS-CoV-2 VoC predominantly infect and replicate in HAEC better than the progenitor USA-WA1 isolate or the BavPat1 isolate, which contains the D614G mutation, even though there is little to no difference between variants regarding their infectivity (i.e., virion-per-vRNA copy ratio). We also observe differential tissue-specific innate immunity activation between the upper and lower respiratory tissues in the presence of the virus. Our study provides better comprehension of the behavior of the different VoC in this physiologically relevant ex vivo model.

2.
Antiviral Res ; 202: 105311, 2022 Apr 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773103

ABSTRACT

Nelfinavir is an HIV protease inhibitor that has been widely prescribed as a component of highly active antiretroviral therapy, and has been reported to exert in vitro antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. We here assessed the effect of Nelfinavir in a SARS-CoV-2 infection model in hamsters. Despite the fact that Nelfinavir, [50 mg/kg twice daily (BID) for four consecutive days], did not reduce viral RNA load and infectious virus titres in the lung of infected animals, treatment resulted in a substantial improvement of SARS-CoV-2-induced lung pathology. This was accompanied by a dense infiltration of neutrophils in the lung interstitium which was similarly observed in non-infected hamsters. Nelfinavir resulted also in a marked increase in activated neutrophils in the blood, as observed in non-infected animals. Although Nelfinavir treatment did not alter the expression of chemoattractant receptors or adhesion molecules on human neutrophils, in vitro migration of human neutrophils to the major human neutrophil attractant CXCL8 was augmented by this protease inhibitor. Nelfinavir appears to induce an immunomodulatory effect associated with increasing neutrophil number and functionality, which may be linked to the marked improvement in SARS-CoV-2 lung pathology independent of its lack of antiviral activity. Since Nelfinavir is no longer used for the treatment of HIV, we studied the effect of two other HIV protease inhibitors, namely the combination Lopinavir/Ritonavir (Kaletra™) in this model. This combination resulted in a similar protective effect as Nelfinavir against SARS-CoV2 induced lung pathology in hamsters.

3.
J Med Virol ; 2022 Feb 28.
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.

4.
Microorganisms ; 10(3)2022 Mar 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742552

ABSTRACT

Ivermectin, an FDA-approved antiparasitic drug, has been reported to have in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2. Increased off-label use of ivermectin for COVID-19 has been reported. We here assessed the effect of ivermectin in Syrian hamsters infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Beta (B.1.351) variant. Infected animals received a clinically relevant dose of ivermectin (0.4 mg/kg subcutaneously dosed) once daily for four consecutive days after which the effect was quantified. Ivermectin monotherapy did not reduce lung viral load and even significantly worsened SARS-CoV-2-induced lung pathology. Additionally, it did not potentiate the activity of molnupiravir (LagevrioTM) when combined with this drug. This study contributes to the growing body of evidence that ivermectin does not result in a beneficial effect in the treatment of COVID-19. These findings are important given the increasing, dangerous off-label use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19.

5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329351

ABSTRACT

Ivermectin, an FDA-approved antiparasitic drug, has been reported to have in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2. An increasing off-label use of Ivermectin for COVID-19 has been reported. We here assessed the effect of Ivermectin in Syrian hamsters infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Beta (B.1.351) variant. Infected animals received a clinically relevant dose of Ivermectin (0.4 mg/kg subcutaneously dosed) once daily for four consecutive days after which the effect was quantified. Ivermectin monotherapy did not reduce lung viral load and even significantly worsened the SARS-CoV-2-induced lung pathology. Additionally, it did not potentiate the activity of Molnupiravir (Lagevrio™) when combined with this drug. This study contributes to the growing body of evidence that Ivermectin does not result in a beneficial effect in the treatment of COVID-19. These findings are important given the increasing, dangerous off-label use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19.

6.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 719, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692616

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for potent and selective antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. Pfizer developed PF-07321332 (PF-332), a potent inhibitor of the viral main protease (Mpro, 3CLpro) that can be dosed orally and that is in clinical development. We here report that PF-332 exerts equipotent in vitro activity against the four SARS-CoV-2 variants of concerns (VoC) and that it can completely arrest replication of the alpha variant in primary human airway epithelial cells grown at the air-liquid interface. Treatment of Syrian Golden hamsters with PF-332 (250 mg/kg, twice daily) completely protected the animals against intranasal infection with the beta (B.1.351) and delta (B.1.617.2) SARS-CoV-2 variants. Moreover, treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.617.2) infected animals with PF-332 completely prevented transmission to untreated co-housed sentinels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Disease Models, Animal , Lactams/administration & dosage , Leucine/administration & dosage , Nitriles/administration & dosage , Proline/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Protease Inhibitors/administration & dosage , A549 Cells , Administration, Oral , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cricetinae , Humans , Lactams/pharmacokinetics , Leucine/pharmacokinetics , Mesocricetus , Nitriles/pharmacokinetics , Proline/pharmacokinetics , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Viral Protease Inhibitors/pharmacokinetics , Virus Replication/drug effects
7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315433

ABSTRACT

Background: Drug repurposing is an attractive strategy to rapidly develop affordable therapy against COVID-19. The antifungal drug itraconazole exerts in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2 comparable to that of hydroxychloroquine. 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 patients with COVID-19 were randomly assigned to receive standard of care with or without itraconazole. The 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. Other outcomes included time to sustained clinical improvement, duration of supplemental oxygen and evolution of nasopharyngeal viral load. 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 interim analysis that showed no trends 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), median time to clinical improvement 10 vs 9 days, hazard ratio 0.94 (95% CI 0.56 to 1.60) for itraconazole vs standard of care. Interpretation: Despite in vitro activity, itraconazole was not effective in a preclinical COVID-19 hamster model. A proof-of-concept clinical study was ended prematurely because of futility. Trial Registration: (EudraCT 2020-001243-15)Funding: Covid-19-Fund KU Leuven, Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO), Horizon 2020, Bill and Melinda Gates FoundationDeclaration of Interests: Initial dug screening and discovery of the antiviral effect of itraconazole was done in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson and described in a separate manuscript. Scientists from Johnson & Johnson also performed drug measurements on hamster samples and provided guidance on the dosing regimens for the preclinical studies. The company had no role in the design, execution, analysis, publication or funding of the clinical trial.Author Conflict of Interests: None to declare.Ethics Approval Statement: The institutional Ethical Committee approved all animal experiments (license P065-2020).The study was conducted in accordance with the International Conference on Harmonization Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice and the Declaration of Helsinki. The protocol was approved by the institutional Ethics Committee and by the Belgian Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (EudraCT 2020-001243-15). The trial was part of the DAWn clinical studies.

8.
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.

9.
Molecules ; 27(3)2022 Feb 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686900

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, has led to a pandemic, that continues to be a huge public health burden. Despite the availability of vaccines, there is still a need for small-molecule antiviral drugs. In an effort to identify novel and drug-like hit matter that can be used for subsequent hit-to-lead optimization campaigns, we conducted a high-throughput screening of a 160 K compound library against SARS-CoV-2, yielding a 1-heteroaryl-2-alkoxyphenyl analog as a promising hit. Antiviral profiling revealed this compound was active against various beta-coronaviruses and preliminary mode-of-action experiments demonstrated that it interfered with viral entry. A systematic structure-activity relationship (SAR) study demonstrated that a 3- or 4-pyridyl moiety on the oxadiazole moiety is optimal, whereas the oxadiazole can be replaced by various other heteroaromatic cycles. In addition, the alkoxy group tolerates some structural diversity.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Heterocyclic Compounds/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells
10.
J Am Chem Soc ; 144(7): 2905-2920, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683927

ABSTRACT

Drugs targeting SARS-CoV-2 could have saved millions of lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is now crucial to develop inhibitors of coronavirus replication in preparation for future outbreaks. We explored two virtual screening strategies to find inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease in ultralarge chemical libraries. First, structure-based docking was used to screen a diverse library of 235 million virtual compounds against the active site. One hundred top-ranked compounds were tested in binding and enzymatic assays. Second, a fragment discovered by crystallographic screening was optimized guided by docking of millions of elaborated molecules and experimental testing of 93 compounds. Three inhibitors were identified in the first library screen, and five of the selected fragment elaborations showed inhibitory effects. Crystal structures of target-inhibitor complexes confirmed docking predictions and guided hit-to-lead optimization, resulting in a noncovalent main protease inhibitor with nanomolar affinity, a promising in vitro pharmacokinetic profile, and broad-spectrum antiviral effect in infected cells.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Catalytic Domain , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacokinetics , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Microsomes, Liver/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Small Molecule Libraries/metabolism , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacokinetics , Vero Cells
11.
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
12.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295926

ABSTRACT

We have identified camelid single-domain antibodies (VHHs) that cross-neutralize SARS-CoV-1 and −2, such as VHH72, which binds to a unique highly conserved epitope in the viral receptor-binding domain (RBD) that is difficult to access for human antibodies. Here, we establish a protein engineering path for how a stable, long-acting drug candidate can be generated out of such a VHH building block. When fused to human IgG1-Fc, the prototype VHH72 molecule prophylactically protects hamsters from SARS-CoV-2. In addition, we demonstrate that both systemic and intranasal application protects hACE-2-transgenic mice from SARS-CoV-2 induced lethal disease progression. To boost potency of the lead, we used structure-guided molecular modeling combined with rapid yeast-based Fc-fusion prototyping, resulting in the affinity-matured VHH72_S56A-Fc, with subnanomolar SARS-CoV-1 and −2 neutralizing potency. Upon humanization, VHH72_S56A was fused to a human IgG1 Fc with optimized manufacturing homogeneity and silenced effector functions for enhanced safety, and its stability as well as lack of off-target binding was extensively characterized. Therapeutic systemic administration of a low dose of VHH72_S56A-Fc antibodies strongly restricted replication of both original and D614G mutant variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus in hamsters, and minimized the development of lung damage. This work led to the selection of XVR011 for clinical development, a highly stable anti-COVID-19 biologic with excellent manufacturability. Additionally, we show that XVR011 is unaffected in its neutralizing capacity of currently rapidly spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants, and demonstrate its unique, wide scope of binding across the Sarbecovirus clades.

13.
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.

14.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293320

ABSTRACT

Treatment with neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contributes to COVID-19 management. Unfortunately, SARS-CoV-2 variants can escape several of these recently approved mAbs, highlighting the need for additional discovery and development. In a convalescent COVID-19 patient, we identified six mAbs, classified in four epitope groups, that potently neutralized SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan, alpha, beta, gamma and delta infection in vitro. In hamsters, mAbs 3E6 and 3B8 potently cured infection with SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan, beta and delta when administered post-viral infection at 5 mg/kg. Even at 0.2 mg/kg, 3B8 still reduced viral titers. Intramuscular delivery of DNA-encoded 3B8 resulted in in vivo mAb production of median serum levels up to 90 ug/ml, and protected hamsters against delta infection. Overall, our data mark 3B8 as a promising candidate against COVID-19, and highlight advances in both the identification and gene-based delivery of potent human mAbs.

15.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292298

ABSTRACT

Essential oils and aromatic extracts (oleoresins, absolutes, concretes, resinoids) are often used as food flavorings and constituents of fragrance compositions. The flavor and fragrance industry observes significant growth in sales of some natural materials during the COVID-19 outbreak. Some companies worldwide are making false claims regarding their essential oils or blends to be effective (or indirectly points towards this conclusion) against coronaviruses even though the available data on the activity of plant materials against highly pathogenic human coronaviruses is very scarce. Our exploratory study aimed to develop pioneering knowledge and provide the first experimental results on the inhibitory properties of hundreds of flavor & fragrance materials against SARS-CoV-2 main- and papain-like proteases, and antiviral potential of the most active protease inhibitors. As essential oils are volatile products, they could provide an interesting subsidiary inhalation therapeutic strategy in the long term.

16.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(621): eabi7826, 2021 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450584

ABSTRACT

Broadly neutralizing antibodies are an important treatment for individuals with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Antibody-based therapeutics are also essential for pandemic preparedness against future Sarbecovirus outbreaks. Camelid-derived single domain antibodies (VHHs) exhibit potent antimicrobial activity and are being developed as SARS-CoV-2­neutralizing antibody-like therapeutics. Here, we identified VHHs that neutralize both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2, including now circulating variants. We observed that the VHHs bound to a highly conserved epitope in the receptor binding domain of the viral spike protein that is difficult to access for human antibodies. Structure-guided molecular modeling, combined with rapid yeast-based prototyping, resulted in an affinity enhanced VHH-human immunoglobulin G1 Fc fusion molecule with subnanomolar neutralizing activity. This VHH-Fc fusion protein, produced in and purified from cultured Chinese hamster ovary cells, controlled SARS-CoV-2 replication in prophylactic and therapeutic settings in mice expressing human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 and in hamsters infected with SARS-CoV-2. These data led to affinity-enhanced selection of the VHH, XVR011, a stable anti­COVID-19 biologic that is now being evaluated in the clinic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Eur J Med Chem ; 221: 113494, 2021 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446590

ABSTRACT

In the search for new anti-influenza virus (IV) compounds, we have identified the 1,2,4-triazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine (TZP) as a very suitable scaffold to obtain compounds able to disrupt IV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) PA-PB1 subunits heterodimerization. In this work, in order to acquire further SAR insights for this class of compounds and identify more potent derivatives, we designed and synthesized additional series of analogues to investigate the role of the substituents around the TZP core. To this aim, we developed four facile and efficient one-step procedures for the synthesis of 5-phenyl-, 6-phenyl- and 7-phenyl-2-amino-[1,2,4]triazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidines, and 2-amino-5-phenyl-[1,2,4]triazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-7-ol. Two analogues having the ethyl carboxylate moiety at the C-2 position of the TZP were also prepared in good yields. Then, the scaffolds herein synthesized and two previous scaffolds were functionalized and evaluated for their anti-IAV activity, leading to the identification of compound 22 that showed both anti-PA-PB1 (IC50 = 19.5 µM) and anti-IAV activity (EC50 = 16 µM) at non-toxic concentrations, thus resulting among the most active TZP derivatives reported to date by us. A selection of the synthesized compounds, along with a set of in-house available analogues, was also tested against SARS-CoV-2. The most promising compound 49 from this series displayed an EC50 value of 34.47 µM, highlighting the potential of the TPZ scaffold in the search for anti-CoV agents.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Protein Multimerization/drug effects , Pyrimidines/pharmacology , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Triazoles/pharmacology , Viral Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dogs , Drug Design , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Influenza A virus/drug effects , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Pyrimidines/chemical synthesis , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Triazoles/chemical synthesis , Vero Cells
18.
EBioMedicine ; 72: 103595, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433162

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Favipiravir and Molnupiravir, orally available antivirals, have been reported to exert antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. First efficacy data have been recently reported in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We here report on the combined antiviral effect of both drugs in a SARS-CoV-2 Syrian hamster infection model. The infected hamsters were treated twice daily with the vehicle (the control group) or a suboptimal dose of each compound or a combination of both compounds. FINDINGS: When animals were treated with a combination of suboptimal doses of Molnupiravir and Favipiravir at the time of infection, a marked combined potency at endpoint is observed. Infectious virus titers in the lungs of animals treated with the combination are reduced by ∼5 log10 and infectious virus are no longer detected in the lungs of >60% of treated animals. When start of treatment was delayed with one day a reduction of titers in the lungs of 2.4 log10 was achieved. Moreover, treatment of infected animals nearly completely prevented transmission to co-housed untreated sentinels. Both drugs result in an increased mutation frequency of the remaining viral RNA recovered from the lungs of treated animals. In the combo-treated hamsters, an increased frequency of C-to-T mutations in the viral RNA is observed as compared to the single treatment groups which may explain the pronounced antiviral potency of the combination. INTERPRETATION: Our findings may lay the basis for the design of clinical studies to test the efficacy of the combination of Molnupiravir/Favipiravir in the treatment of COVID-19. FUNDING: stated in the acknowledgment.


Subject(s)
Amides/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Hydroxylamines/therapeutic use , Lung/virology , Pyrazines/therapeutic use , Amides/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/transmission , Cytidine/pharmacology , Cytidine/therapeutic use , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Hydroxylamines/pharmacology , Mesocricetus , Pyrazines/pharmacology , RNA, Viral , Treatment Outcome , Viral Load
20.
Antiviral Res ; 193: 105142, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1321985

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the cause of the currently ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, encodes its own mRNA capping machinery. Insights into this capping system may provide new ideas for therapeutic interventions and drug discovery. In this work, we employ a previously developed Py-FLINT screening approach to study the inhibitory effects of compounds against the cap guanine N7-methyltransferase enzyme, which is involved in SARS-CoV-2 mRNA capping. We screened five commercially available libraries (7039 compounds in total) to identify 83 inhibitors with IC50 < 50 µM, which were further validated using RP HPLC and dot blot assays. Novel fluorescence anisotropy binding assays were developed to examine the targeted binding site. The inhibitor structures were analyzed for structure-activity relationships in order to define common structural patterns. Finally, the most potent inhibitors were tested for antiviral activity on SARS-CoV-2 in a cell based assay.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Methyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , Nucleotidyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Exoribonucleases/antagonists & inhibitors , Exoribonucleases/metabolism , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Nucleotidyltransferases/metabolism , RNA Caps , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
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