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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4416, 2022 Jul 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1967601

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) have triggered infection waves. Oral antivirals such as molnupiravir promise to improve disease management, but efficacy against VOC delta was questioned and potency against omicron is unknown. This study evaluates molnupiravir against VOC in human airway epithelium organoids, ferrets, and a lethal Roborovski dwarf hamster model of severe COVID-19-like lung injury. VOC were equally inhibited by molnupiravir in cells and organoids. Treatment reduced shedding in ferrets and prevented transmission. Pathogenicity in dwarf hamsters was VOC-dependent and highest for delta, gamma, and omicron. All molnupiravir-treated dwarf hamsters survived, showing reduction in lung virus load from one (delta) to four (gamma) orders of magnitude. Treatment effect size varied in individual dwarf hamsters infected with omicron and was significant in males, but not females. The dwarf hamster model recapitulates mixed efficacy of molnupiravir in human trials and alerts that benefit must be reassessed in vivo as VOC evolve.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cricetinae , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Ferrets , Humans , Hydroxylamines , Lung , Male
2.
Science ; 375(6577): 161-167, 2022 Jan 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648160

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the critical need for broad-spectrum therapeutics against respiratory viruses. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major threat to pediatric patients and older adults. We describe 4'-fluorouridine (4'-FlU, EIDD-2749), a ribonucleoside analog that inhibits RSV, related RNA viruses, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), with high selectivity index in cells and human airway epithelia organoids. Polymerase inhibition within in vitro RNA-dependent RNA polymerase assays established for RSV and SARS-CoV-2 revealed transcriptional stalling after incorporation. Once-daily oral treatment was highly efficacious at 5 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) in RSV-infected mice or 20 mg/kg in ferrets infected with different SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, initiated 24 or 12 hours after infection, respectively. These properties define 4'-FlU as a broad-spectrum candidate for the treatment of RSV, SARS-CoV-2, and related RNA virus infections.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/drug therapy , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Uracil Nucleotides/pharmacology , Administration, Oral , Animals , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Ferrets , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Mononegavirales/drug effects , Mononegavirales/physiology , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/virology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/genetics , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Transcription, Genetic , Uracil Nucleotides/administration & dosage , Uracil Nucleotides/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
3.
Curr Opin Virol ; 50: 17-22, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275240

ABSTRACT

Despite the availability of vaccines, there remains an urgent need for antiviral drugs with potent activity against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19. Millions of people are immune-suppressed and may not be able to mount a fully protective immune response after vaccination. There is also an increasingly critical need for a drug to cover emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, against which existing vaccines may be less effective. Here, we describe the evolution of molnupiravir (EIDD-2801, MK-4482), a broad-spectrum antiviral agent originally designed for the treatment of Alphavirus infections, into a potential drug for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. When the pandemic began, molnupiravir was in pre-clinical development for the treatment of seasonal influenza. As COVID-19 spread, the timeline for the development program was moved forward significantly, and focus shifted to treatment of coronavirus infections. Real time consultation with regulatory authorities aided in making the acceleration of the program possible.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Hydroxylamines/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Administration, Oral , Cytidine/therapeutic use , Humans
4.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother ; 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112314

ABSTRACT

Molnupiravir, EIDD-2801/MK-4482, the prodrug of the active antiviral ribonucleoside analog ß-d-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC; EIDD-1931), has activity against a number of RNA viruses including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses.Single and multiple doses of molnupiravir were evaluated in this first-in-human, phase 1, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in healthy volunteers, which included evaluation of the effect of food on pharmacokinetics.EIDD-1931 appeared rapidly in plasma, with a median time of maximum observed concentration of 1.00 to 1.75 hours, and declined with a geometric half-life of approximately 1 hour, with a slower elimination phase apparent following multiple doses or higher single doses (7.1 hours at the highest dose tested). Mean maximum observed concentration and area under the concentration versus time curve increased in a dose-proportional manner, and there was no accumulation following multiple doses. When administered in a fed state, there was a decrease in the rate of absorption, but no decrease in overall exposure.Molnupiravir was well tolerated. Fewer than half of subjects reported an adverse event, the incidence of adverse events was higher following administration of placebo, and 93.3% of adverse events were mild. One discontinued early due to rash. There were no serious adverse events and there were no clinically significant findings in clinical laboratory, vital signs, or electrocardiography. Plasma exposures exceeded expected efficacious doses based on scaling from animal models; therefore, dose escalations were discontinued before a maximum tolerated dose was reached.

5.
Journal of Virology ; 93(24):1-14, 2019.
Article | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1017136

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses (CoVs) have emerged from animal reservoirs to cause severe and lethal disease in humans, but there are currently no FDA-approved antivirals to treat the infections. One class of antiviral compounds, nucleoside analogues, mimics naturally occurring nucleosides to inhibit viral replication. While these compounds have been successful therapeutics for several viral infections, mutagenic nucleoside analogues, such as ribavirin and 5-fluorouracil, have been ineffective at inhibiting CoVs. This has been attributed to the proofreading activity of the viral 3'-5' exoribonuclease (ExoN). β-d-N4-Hydroxycytidine (NHC) (EIDD-1931;Emory Institute for Drug Development) has recently been reported to inhibit multiple viruses. Here, we demonstrate that NHC inhibits both murine hepatitis virus (MHV) (50% effective concentration [EC50] = 0.17 μM) and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) (EC50 = 0.56 μM) with minimal cytotoxicity. NHC inhibited MHV lacking ExoN proofreading activity similarly to wild-type (WT) MHV, suggesting an ability to evade or overcome ExoN activity. NHC inhibited MHV only when added early during infection, decreased viral specific infectivity, and increased the number and proportion of G:A and C:U transition mutations present after a single infection. Low-level NHC resistance was difficult to achieve and was associated with multiple transition mutations across the genome in both MHV and MERS-CoV. These results point to a virus-mutagenic mechanism of NHC inhibition in CoVs and indicate a high genetic barrier to NHC resistance. Together, the data support further development of NHC for treatment of CoVs and suggest a novel mechanism of NHC interaction with the CoV replication complex that may shed light on critical aspects of replication. IMPORTANCE The emergence of coronaviruses (CoVs) into human populations from animal reservoirs has demonstrated their epidemic capability, pandemic potential, and ability to cause severe disease. However, no antivirals have been approved to treat these infections. Here, we demonstrate the potent antiviral activity of a broad-spectrum ribonucleoside analogue, β-d-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC), against two divergent CoVs. Viral proofreading activity does not markedly impact sensitivity to NHC inhibition, suggesting a novel interaction between a nucleoside analogue inhibitor and the CoV replicase. Further, passage in the presence of NHC generates only low-level resistance, likely due to the accumulation of multiple potentially deleterious transition mutations. Together, these data support a mutagenic mechanism of inhibition by NHC and further support the development of NHC for treatment of CoV infections. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Journal of Virology is the property of American Society for Microbiology and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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