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1.
Journal of Pharmacological Sciences ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1796436

ABSTRACT

Ciclesonide (Cic) is approved as an inhalant for asthma and was clinically tested as a candidate therapy for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Its active metabolite Cic2 was recently reported to suppress genomic RNA replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. In this study, we designed and synthesized a set of ciclesonide-acetal (Cic-acetal) derivatives. Among designated compounds, some Cic-acetal derivatives with a linear alkyl chain exhibited strong viral copy-number reduction activities compared with Cic2. These compounds might serve as lead compounds for developing novel anti-COVID-19 agents.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-333065

ABSTRACT

The severity of disease following infection with SARS-CoV-2 is determined by viral replication kinetics and host immunity, with early T cell responses and/or suppression of viraemia driving a favourable outcome. Recent studies have uncovered a role for cholesterol metabolism in the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle and in T cell function. Here we show that blockade of the enzyme Acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) with Avasimibe inhibits SARS-CoV-2 entry and fusion independent of transmembrane protease serine 2 expression in multiple cell types. We also demonstrate a role for ACAT in regulating SARS-CoV-2 RNA replication in primary bronchial epithelial cells. Furthermore, Avasimibe boosts the expansion of functional SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells from the blood of patients sampled in the acute phase of infection. Thus, re-purposing of available ACAT inhibitors provides a compelling therapeutic strategy for the treatment of COVID-19 to achieve both antiviral and immunomodulatory effects.

3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329162

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron subvariant BA.2 has spread in many countries, replacing the earlier Omicron subvariant BA.1 and other variants. Here, using a cell culture infection assay, we quantified the intrinsic sensitivity of BA.2 and BA.1 compared with other variants of concern, Alpha, Gamma, and Delta, to five approved-neutralizing antibodies and antiviral drugs. Our assay revealed the diverse sensitivities of these variants to antibodies, including the loss of response of both BA.1 and BA.2 to casirivimab and of BA.1 to imdevimab. In contrast, EIDD-1931 and nirmatrelvir showed a more conserved activities to these variants. The viral response profile combined with mathematical analysis estimated differences in antiviral effects among variants in the clinical concentrations. These analyses provide essential evidence that gives insight into the impact of variant emergence on choosing optimal drug treatment.

4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324025

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is a global health issue with more than 1 million fatalities to date. Understanding how host factors modify the viral life cycle could inform susceptibility to viral infection and the design of new therapies. Viral replication is shaped by the cellular microenvironment and one important factor is local oxygen tension, where hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) regulates transcriptional responses to hypoxia. SARS-CoV-2 primarily infects cells of the respiratory tract, entering via its Spike glycoprotein binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE2). We demonstrate that hypoxia and the HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor Roxadustat (FG-4592) reduce ACE2 expression and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication in lung epithelial cells via a HIF-1α dependent signalling pathway. Further, hypoxia and Roxadustat inhibit viral replication in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells, showing that post-entry steps in the viral life cycle are oxygen-sensitive. This study highlights the importance of hypoxia and HIF signalling in regulating multiple aspects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and raises the potential use of HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibitors in the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19.Funding: The McKeating laboratory is funded by a Wellcome Investigator Award (IA) 200838/Z/16/Z, UK Medical Research Council (MRC) project grant MR/R022011/1 and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) Innovation Fund for Medical Science (CIFMS), China (grant number: 2018-I2M-2-002). The Ratcliffe laboratory is funded by the Oxford Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research;Wellcome IA 106241/Z/14/Z;the Francis Crick Institute, which receives core funding from Cancer Research UK (FC001501), UK MRC (FC001501) and Wellcome (FC001501);the Paradifference Foundation. PJR, EJH and TB are additionally funded by the COVID-19 Research Response Fund, University of Oxford. SK is funded by the Clarendon Scholarships Fund and the Christopher Welch Trust. The Davis laboratory is funded by Wellcome IA 209412/Z/17/Z and Wellcome Strategic Awards 091911/B/10/Z and 107457/Z/15/Z. JYL is funded by the Medial Sciences Graduate Studentship, University of Oxford. The Hinks laboratory is funded by grants from the Wellcome (104553/z/14/z, 211050/Z/18/z) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre;the views expressed are those of the authors and not those of the NHS or NIHR. Conflict of Interest: EJH is employed under the Cambridge Experimental Medicine Initiative, which is partly funded by AstraZeneca although they have not been involved in this project. The other authors declare no financial interests.Ethical Approval: The study was reviewed by the Oxford Research Ethics Committee B (18/SC/0361).

5.
J Nat Prod ; 85(1): 284-291, 2022 01 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596477

ABSTRACT

We have previously reported that neoechinulin B (1a), a prenylated indole diketopiperazine alkaloid, shows antiviral activities against hepatitis C virus (HCV) via the inactivation of the liver X receptors (LXRs) and the resultant disruption of double-membrane vesicles. In this study, a two-step synthesis of the diketopiperazine scaffold of 1a was achieved by the base-induced coupling of 1,4-diacetyl-3-{[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]methyl}piperazine-2,5-dione with aldehydes, followed by the treatment of the resultant coupling products with tetra-n-butylammonium fluoride. Compound 1a and its 16 derivatives 1b-q were prepared using this method. Furthermore, variecolorin H, a related alkaloid, was obtained by the acid treatment of 1a in MeOH. The antiviral evaluation of 1a and its derivatives revealed that 1a, 1c, 1d, 1h, 1j, 1l, and 1o exhibited both anti-HCV and anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) activities. The results of this study indicate that the exomethylene moiety on the diketopiperazine ring is important for the antiviral activities. The antiviral compounds can inhibit the production of HCV and SARS-CoV-2 by inactivating LXRs.


Subject(s)
Alkaloids/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Hepacivirus/drug effects , Piperazines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Alkaloids/chemical synthesis , Alkaloids/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Cell Line, Tumor , Diketopiperazines/chemistry , Diketopiperazines/pharmacology , Humans , Liver X Receptors/antagonists & inhibitors , Molecular Structure , Piperazines/chemical synthesis , Piperazines/chemistry , Structure-Activity Relationship , Transcription, Genetic/drug effects
6.
Translational and Regulatory Sciences ; 3(3):2021-023, 2021.
Article in Japanese | J-Stage | ID: covidwho-1579222
7.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294911

ABSTRACT

Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are acute viral gastroenteritis pathogens that affect all age groups, yet no approved vaccines and drugs to treat HuNoV infection are available. In this study, with a human intestinal enteroid (HIE) culture system where HuNoVs are able to replicate reproducibly, we screened an antiviral compound library to identify compound(s) showing anti-HuNoV activity. Dasabuvir, which has been developed as an anti-hepatitis C virus agent, was found to inhibit HuNoV infection in HIEs at micromolar concentrations. Dasabuvir also inhibited severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and human A rotavirus (RVA) infection in HIEs. To our knowledge, this is the first study to screen an antiviral compound library for HuNoV using HIEs and we successfully identified dasabuvir as a novel anti-HuNoV inhibitor that warrants further investigation.

8.
FEBS Open Bio ; 12(1): 285-294, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1540045

ABSTRACT

Cepharanthine (CEP) is a natural biscoclaurine alkaloid of plant origin and was recently demonstrated to have anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (anti-SARS-CoV-2) activity. In this study, we evaluated whether natural analogues of CEP may act as potential anti-coronavirus disease 2019 drugs. A total of 24 compounds resembling CEP were extracted from the KNApSAcK database, and their binding affinities to target proteins, including the spike protein and main protease of SARS-CoV-2, NPC1 and TPC2 in humans, were predicted via molecular docking simulations. Selected analogues were further evaluated by a cell-based SARS-CoV-2 infection assay. In addition, the efficacies of CEP and its analogue tetrandrine were assessed. A comparison of the docking conformations of these compounds suggested that the diphenyl ester moiety of the molecules was a putative pharmacophore of the CEP analogues.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Benzylisoquinolines/pharmacology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Plant Preparations/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Benzylisoquinolines/chemistry , Benzylisoquinolines/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus M Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus M Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus M Proteins/metabolism , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Plant Preparations/chemistry , Plant Preparations/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Stephania/chemistry , Vero Cells
9.
mSphere ; 6(6): e0062321, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501544

ABSTRACT

Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are acute viral gastroenteritis pathogens that affect all age groups, yet no approved vaccines and drugs to treat HuNoV infection are available. In this study, we screened an antiviral compound library to identify compound(s) showing anti-HuNoV activity using a human intestinal enteroid (HIE) culture system in which HuNoVs are able to replicate reproducibly. Dasabuvir (DSB), which has been developed as an anti-hepatitis C virus agent, was found to inhibit HuNoV infection in HIEs at micromolar concentrations. Dasabuvir also inhibited severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and human rotavirus A (RVA) infection in HIEs. To our knowledge, this is the first study to screen an antiviral compound library for HuNoV using HIEs, and we successfully identified dasabuvir as a novel anti-HuNoV inhibitor that warrants further investigation. IMPORTANCE Although there is an urgent need to develop effective antiviral therapy directed against HuNoV infection, compound screening to identify anti-HuNoV drug candidates has not been reported so far. Using a human HIE culture system, our compound screening successfully identified dasabuvir as a novel anti-HuNoV inhibitor. Dasabuvir's inhibitory effect was also demonstrated in the cases of SARS-CoV-2 and RVA infection, highlighting the usefulness of the HIE platform for screening antiviral agents against various viruses that target the intestines.


Subject(s)
2-Naphthylamine/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Intestines/virology , Organoids/virology , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Sulfonamides/pharmacology , Uracil/analogs & derivatives , Biopsy , COVID-19/drug therapy , Caliciviridae Infections/drug therapy , Cell Line , Humans , Intestines/drug effects , Intestines/pathology , Organoids/drug effects , Rotavirus/drug effects , Rotavirus Infections/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Uracil/pharmacology
10.
iScience ; 24(10): 103144, 2021 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428079

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) coronavirus, is a global health issue with unprecedented challenges for public health. SARS-CoV-2 primarily infects cells of the respiratory tract via spike glycoprotein binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE2). Circadian rhythms coordinate an organism's response to its environment and can regulate host susceptibility to virus infection. We demonstrate that silencing the circadian regulator Bmal1 or treating lung epithelial cells with the REV-ERB agonist SR9009 reduces ACE2 expression and inhibits SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication. Importantly, treating infected cells with SR9009 limits SARS-CoV-2 replication and secretion of infectious particles, showing that post-entry steps in the viral life cycle are influenced by the circadian system. Transcriptome analysis revealed that Bmal1 silencing induced interferon-stimulated gene transcripts in Calu-3 lung epithelial cells, providing a mechanism for the circadian pathway to limit SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our study highlights alternative approaches to understand and improve therapeutic targeting of SARS-CoV-2.

11.
Elife ; 102021 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328262

ABSTRACT

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, two mainstream guidelines for defining when to end the isolation of SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals have been in use: the one-size-fits-all approach (i.e. patients are isolated for a fixed number of days) and the personalized approach (i.e. based on repeated testing of isolated patients). We use a mathematical framework to model within-host viral dynamics and test different criteria for ending isolation. By considering a fixed time of 10 days since symptom onset as the criterion for ending isolation, we estimated that the risk of releasing an individual who is still infectious is low (0-6.6%). However, this policy entails lengthy unnecessary isolations (4.8-8.3 days). In contrast, by using a personalized strategy, similar low risks can be reached with shorter prolonged isolations. The obtained findings provide a scientific rationale for policies on ending the isolation of SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Patient Isolation , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Pandemics , Patient Isolation/methods , Patient Isolation/standards , Precision Medicine/methods , Quarantine/methods , Quarantine/standards , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Load
12.
PLoS Med ; 18(7): e1003660, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298077

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Development of an effective antiviral drug for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global health priority. Although several candidate drugs have been identified through in vitro and in vivo models, consistent and compelling evidence from clinical studies is limited. The lack of evidence from clinical trials may stem in part from the imperfect design of the trials. We investigated how clinical trials for antivirals need to be designed, especially focusing on the sample size in randomized controlled trials. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A modeling study was conducted to help understand the reasons behind inconsistent clinical trial findings and to design better clinical trials. We first analyzed longitudinal viral load data for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) without antiviral treatment by use of a within-host virus dynamics model. The fitted viral load was categorized into 3 different groups by a clustering approach. Comparison of the estimated parameters showed that the 3 distinct groups were characterized by different virus decay rates (p-value < 0.001). The mean decay rates were 1.17 d-1 (95% CI: 1.06 to 1.27 d-1), 0.777 d-1 (0.716 to 0.838 d-1), and 0.450 d-1 (0.378 to 0.522 d-1) for the 3 groups, respectively. Such heterogeneity in virus dynamics could be a confounding variable if it is associated with treatment allocation in compassionate use programs (i.e., observational studies). Subsequently, we mimicked randomized controlled trials of antivirals by simulation. An antiviral effect causing a 95% to 99% reduction in viral replication was added to the model. To be realistic, we assumed that randomization and treatment are initiated with some time lag after symptom onset. Using the duration of virus shedding as an outcome, the sample size to detect a statistically significant mean difference between the treatment and placebo groups (1:1 allocation) was 13,603 and 11,670 (when the antiviral effect was 95% and 99%, respectively) per group if all patients are enrolled regardless of timing of randomization. The sample size was reduced to 584 and 458 (when the antiviral effect was 95% and 99%, respectively) if only patients who are treated within 1 day of symptom onset are enrolled. We confirmed the sample size was similarly reduced when using cumulative viral load in log scale as an outcome. We used a conventional virus dynamics model, which may not fully reflect the detailed mechanisms of viral dynamics of SARS-CoV-2. The model needs to be calibrated in terms of both parameter settings and model structure, which would yield more reliable sample size calculation. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found that estimated association in observational studies can be biased due to large heterogeneity in viral dynamics among infected individuals, and statistically significant effect in randomized controlled trials may be difficult to be detected due to small sample size. The sample size can be dramatically reduced by recruiting patients immediately after developing symptoms. We believe this is the first study investigated the study design of clinical trials for antiviral treatment using the viral dynamics model.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Sample Size , Humans , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , Viral Load , Virus Replication , Virus Shedding
13.
Front Microbiol ; 12: 651403, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231355

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused serious public health, social, and economic damage worldwide and effective drugs that prevent or cure COVID-19 are urgently needed. Approved drugs including Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir or Interferon were reported to inhibit the infection or propagation of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), however, their clinical efficacies have not yet been well demonstrated. To identify drugs with higher antiviral potency, we screened approved anti-parasitic/anti-protozoal drugs and identified an anti-malarial drug, Mefloquine, which showed the highest anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity among the tested compounds. Mefloquine showed higher anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity than Hydroxychloroquine in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 and Calu-3 cells, with IC50 = 1.28 µM, IC90 = 2.31 µM, and IC99 = 4.39 µM in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells. Mefloquine inhibited viral entry after viral attachment to the target cell. Combined treatment with Mefloquine and Nelfinavir, a replication inhibitor, showed synergistic antiviral activity. Our mathematical modeling based on the drug concentration in the lung predicted that Mefloquine administration at a standard treatment dosage could decline viral dynamics in patients, reduce cumulative viral load to 7% and shorten the time until virus elimination by 6.1 days. These data cumulatively underscore Mefloquine as an anti-SARS-CoV-2 entry inhibitor.

14.
Trials ; 22(1): 309, 2021 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207605

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this trial is to evaluate the antiviral efficacy, clinical efficacy, and safety of nelfinavir in patients with asymptomatic and mild COVID-19. TRIAL DESIGN: The study is designed as a multicenter, open-label, blinded outcome assessment, parallel group, investigator-initiated, exploratory, randomized (1:1 ratio) controlled clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: Asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients will be enrolled in 10 university and teaching hospitals in Japan. The inclusion and exclusion criteria are as follows: Inclusion criteria: (1) Japanese male or female patients aged ≥ 20 years (2) SARS-CoV-2 detected from a respiratory tract specimen (e.g., nasopharyngeal swab or saliva) using PCR, LAMP, or an antigen test within 3 days before obtaining the informed consent (3) Provide informed consent Exclusion criteria: (1) Symptoms developed ≥ 8 days prior to enrolment (2) SpO2 < 96 % (room air) (3) Any of the following screening criteria: a) ALT or AST ≥ 5 × upper limit of the reference range b) Child-Pugh class B or C c) Serum creatinine ≥ 2 × upper limit of the reference range and creatinine clearance < 30 mL/min (4) Poorly controlled diabetes (random blood glucose ≥ 200 mg/dL or HbA1c ≥ 7.0%, despite treatment) (5) Unsuitable serious complications based on the assessment of either the principal investigator or the sub-investigator (6) Hemophiliac or patients with a marked hemorrhagic tendency (7) Severe diarrhea (8) Hypersensitivity to the investigational drug (9) Breastfeeding or pregnancy (10) With childbearing potential and rejecting contraceptive methods during the study period from the initial administration of the investigational drug (11) Receiving rifampicin within the previous 2 weeks (12) Participated in other clinical trials and received drugs within the previous 12 weeks (13) Undergoing treatment for HIV infection (14) History of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination or wishes to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 (15) Deemed inappropriate (for miscellaneous reasons) based on the assessment of either the principal investigator or the sub-investigator INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Patients who meet the inclusion criteria and do not meet any of the exclusion criteria will be randomized to either the nelfinavir group or the symptomatic treatment group. The nelfinavir group will be administered 750 mg of nelfinavir orally, three times daily for 14 days (treatment period). However, if a participant tests negative on two consecutive PCR tests of saliva samples, administration of the investigational drug for that participant can be discontinued at the discretion of the investigators. The symptomatic treatment group will not be administered the investigational drug, but all other study procedures and conditions will be the same for both groups for the duration of the treatment period. After the treatment period of 14 days, each group will be followed up for 14 days (observational period). MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary endpoint is the time to negative conversion of SARS-CoV-2. During the study period from Day 1 to Day 28, two consecutive negative PCR results of saliva samples will be considered as the negative conversion of the virus. The secondary efficacy endpoints are as follows: For patients with both asymptomatic and mild disease: area under the curve of viral load, half decay period of viral load, body temperature at each time point, all-cause mortality, incidence rate of pneumonia, percentage of patients with newly developed pneumonia, rate of oxygen administration, and the percentage of patients who require oxygen administration. For asymptomatic patients: incidence of symptomatic COVID-19, incidence of fever (≥ 37.0 °C for two consecutive days), incidence of cough For patients with mild disease: incidence of defervescence (< 37.0 °C), incidence of recovery from clinical symptoms, incidence of improvement of each symptom The secondary safety endpoints are adverse events and clinical examinations. RANDOMIZATION: Patients will be randomized to either the nelfinavir group or the symptomatic treatment group using the electric data capture system (1:1 ratio, dynamic allocation based on severity [asymptomatic], and age [< 60 years]). BLINDING (MASKING): Only the assessors of the primary outcome will be blinded (blinded outcome assessment). NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMIZED (SAMPLE SIZE): The sample size was determined based on our power analysis to reject the null hypothesis, S (t | z =1) = S (t | z = 0) where S is a survival function, t is time to negative conversion, and z denotes randomization group, by the log-rank test with a two-sided p value of 0.05. We estimated viral dynamic parameters by fitting a nonlinear mixed-effects model to reported viral load data, and simulated our primary endpoint from viral-load time-courses that were realized from sets of viral dynamics parameters sampled from the estimated probability distribution of the parameters (sample size: 2000; 1000 each for randomization group). From this estimation of the hazard ratio between the randomization groups for the event of negative conversion using this simulation dataset, the required number of events for rejecting our null hypothesis with a power of 0.80 felled 97.345 by plugging the estimated hazard ratio, 1.79, in Freedman's equation. Therefore, we decided the required number of randomizations to be 120 after consideration of the frequency of censoring and the anticipated rate of withdrawal caused by factors such as withdrawal of consent. TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version 6.0 of February 12, 2021. Recruitment started on July 22, 2020 and is anticipated to be completed by March 31, 2022. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was registered in Japan Registry of Clinical Trials (jRCT) ( jRCT2071200023 ) on 21 July 21, 2020. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines (Additional file 2).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Japan , Male , Middle Aged , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Nelfinavir/adverse effects , Pregnancy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
15.
Cell Rep ; 35(3): 109020, 2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1182447

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is a global health issue with more than 2 million fatalities to date. Viral replication is shaped by the cellular microenvironment, and one important factor to consider is oxygen tension, in which hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) regulates transcriptional responses to hypoxia. SARS-CoV-2 primarily infects cells of the respiratory tract, entering via its spike glycoprotein binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). We demonstrate that hypoxia and the HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor Roxadustat reduce ACE2 expression and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication in lung epithelial cells via an HIF-1α-dependent pathway. Hypoxia and Roxadustat inhibit SARS-CoV-2 RNA replication, showing that post-entry steps in the viral life cycle are oxygen sensitive. This study highlights the importance of HIF signaling in regulating multiple aspects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and raises the potential use of HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibitors in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Glycine/analogs & derivatives , Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit/metabolism , Isoquinolines/pharmacology , Lung/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Hypoxia/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/virology , Glycine/pharmacology , Humans , Lung/virology , Mice , Vero Cells
16.
iScience ; 24(4): 102367, 2021 Apr 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157438

ABSTRACT

Antiviral treatments targeting the coronavirus disease 2019 are urgently required. We screened a panel of already approved drugs in a cell culture model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and identified two new agents having higher antiviral potentials than the drug candidates such as remdesivir and chroloquine in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells: the anti-inflammatory drug cepharanthine and human immunodeficiency virus protease inhibitor nelfinavir. Cepharanthine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 entry through the blocking of viral binding to target cells, while nelfinavir suppressed viral replication partly by protease inhibition. Consistent with their different modes of action, synergistic effect of this combined treatment to limit SARS-CoV-2 proliferation was highlighted. Mathematical modeling in vitro antiviral activity coupled with the calculated total drug concentrations in the lung predicts that nelfinavir will shorten the period until viral clearance by 4.9 days and the combining cepharanthine/nelfinavir enhanced their predicted efficacy. These results warrant further evaluation of the potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of cepharanthine and nelfinavir.

17.
PLoS Biol ; 19(3): e3001128, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1145480

ABSTRACT

The scientific community is focused on developing antiviral therapies to mitigate the impacts of the ongoing novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. This will be facilitated by improved understanding of viral dynamics within infected hosts. Here, using a mathematical model in combination with published viral load data, we compare within-host viral dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 with analogous dynamics of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. Our quantitative analyses using a mathematical model revealed that the within-host reproduction number at symptom onset of SARS-CoV-2 was statistically significantly larger than that of MERS-CoV and similar to that of SARS-CoV. In addition, the time from symptom onset to the viral load peak for SARS-CoV-2 infection was shorter than those of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. These findings suggest the difficulty of controlling SARS-CoV-2 infection by antivirals. We further used the viral dynamics model to predict the efficacy of potential antiviral drugs that have different modes of action. The efficacy was measured by the reduction in the viral load area under the curve (AUC). Our results indicate that therapies that block de novo infection or virus production are likely to be effective if and only if initiated before the viral load peak (which appears 2-3 days after symptom onset), but therapies that promote cytotoxicity of infected cells are likely to have effects with less sensitivity to the timing of treatment initiation. Furthermore, combining a therapy that promotes cytotoxicity and one that blocks de novo infection or virus production synergistically reduces the AUC with early treatment. Our unique modeling approach provides insights into the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and may be useful for development of antiviral therapies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Models, Biological , SARS Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Load/drug effects
18.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(6)2021 Mar 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1143519

ABSTRACT

The development of effective antiviral drugs targeting the severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is urgently needed to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We have previously studied the use of semi-synthetic derivatives of oxysterols, oxidized derivatives of cholesterol as drug candidates for the inhibition of cancer, fibrosis, and bone regeneration. In this study, we screened a panel of naturally occurring and semi-synthetic oxysterols for anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity using a cell culture infection assay. We show that the natural oxysterols, 7-ketocholesterol, 22(R)-hydroxycholesterol, 24(S)-hydroxycholesterol, and 27-hydroxycholesterol, substantially inhibited SARS-CoV-2 propagation in cultured cells. Among semi-synthetic oxysterols, Oxy210 and Oxy232 displayed more robust anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities, reducing viral replication more than 90% at 10 µM and 99% at 15 µM, respectively. When orally administered in mice, peak plasma concentrations of Oxy210 fell into a therapeutically relevant range (19 µM), based on the dose-dependent curve for antiviral activity in our cell-based assay. Mechanistic studies suggest that Oxy210 reduced replication of SARS-CoV-2 by disrupting the formation of double-membrane vesicles (DMVs); intracellular membrane compartments associated with viral replication. Our study warrants further evaluation of Oxy210 and Oxy232 as a safe and reliable oral medication, which could help protect vulnerable populations with increased risk of developing COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Oxysterols/chemistry , Oxysterols/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Administration, Oral , Animals , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Mice , Nucleocapsid Proteins/drug effects , Oxysterols/administration & dosage , Oxysterols/pharmacokinetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Replication Compartments/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
19.
Epidemics ; 35: 100454, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1135321

ABSTRACT

The incubation period, or the time from infection to symptom onset, of COVID-19 has usually been estimated by using data collected through interviews with cases and their contacts. However, this estimation is influenced by uncertainty in the cases' recall of exposure time. We propose a novel method that uses viral load data collected over time since hospitalization, hindcasting the timing of infection with a mathematical model for viral dynamics. As an example, we used reported data on viral load for 30 hospitalized patients from multiple countries (Singapore, China, Germany, and Korea) and estimated the incubation period. The median, 2.5, and 97.5 percentiles of the incubation period were 5.85 days (95 % CI: 5.05, 6.77), 2.65 days (2.04, 3.41), and 12.99 days (9.98, 16.79), respectively, which are comparable to the values estimated in previous studies. Using viral load to estimate the incubation period might be a useful approach, especially when it is impractical to directly observe the infection event.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Infectious Disease Incubation Period , Viral Load/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/virology , China , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Models, Theoretical , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 538: 137-144, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-938772

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus infectious diseases 2019 (COVID-19), a global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been a serious public health threat worldwide. So far, there are no drugs and vaccines whose efficacy has been well-proven. After the outbreak, there has been a massive search for anti-SARS-CoV-2 medications, focusing on approved drugs because repurposing approved drugs will take less time to reach clinical usage than new drugs. This article summarizes the studies using in silico and in vitro approaches to identify therapeutic candidates among approved drugs that target the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Computer Simulation , Humans , Mice , Vero Cells
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