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1.
mBio ; 13(2): e0370521, 2022 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714363

ABSTRACT

Combinations of direct-acting antivirals are needed to minimize drug resistance mutations and stably suppress replication of RNA viruses. Currently, there are limited therapeutic options against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and testing of a number of drug regimens has led to conflicting results. Here, we show that cobicistat, which is an FDA-approved drug booster that blocks the activity of the drug-metabolizing proteins cytochrome P450-3As (CYP3As) and P-glycoprotein (P-gp), inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication. Two independent cell-to-cell membrane fusion assays showed that the antiviral effect of cobicistat is exerted through inhibition of spike protein-mediated membrane fusion. In line with this, incubation with low-micromolar concentrations of cobicistat decreased viral replication in three different cell lines including cells of lung and gut origin. When cobicistat was used in combination with remdesivir, a synergistic effect on the inhibition of viral replication was observed in cell lines and in a primary human colon organoid. This was consistent with the effects of cobicistat on two of its known targets, CYP3A4 and P-gp, the silencing of which boosted the in vitro antiviral activity of remdesivir in a cobicistat-like manner. When administered in vivo to Syrian hamsters at a high dose, cobicistat decreased viral load and mitigated clinical progression. These data highlight cobicistat as a therapeutic candidate for treating SARS-CoV-2 infection and as a potential building block of combination therapies for COVID-19. IMPORTANCE The lack of effective antiviral treatments against SARS-CoV-2 is a significant limitation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Single-drug regimens have so far yielded limited results, indicating that combinations of antivirals might be required, as previously seen for other RNA viruses. Our work introduces the drug booster cobicistat, which is approved by the FDA and typically used to potentiate the effect of anti-HIV protease inhibitors, as a candidate inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 replication. Beyond its direct activity as an antiviral, we show that cobicistat can enhance the effect of remdesivir, which was one of the first drugs proposed for treatment of SARS-CoV-2. Overall, the dual action of cobicistat as a direct antiviral and a drug booster can provide a new approach to design combination therapies and rescue the activity of compounds that are only partially effective in monotherapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hepatitis C, Chronic , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cobicistat , Cricetinae , Disease Progression , Humans , Mesocricetus , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
2.
Future Microbiol ; 17: 377-391, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704946

ABSTRACT

Despite the progress in the management of COVID-19, effective oral antiviral agents are still lacking. In the present review, the potential beneficial effects of molnupiravir in the management of COVID-19 are discussed. A literature search in Google Scholar, Scopus, PubMed and clinicaltrials.gov for the relevant articles regarding the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and clinical trials of molnupiravir in the management of COVID-19 is conducted. Most of the preclinical studies and available clinical trials showed a favorable short-term safety profile of molnupiravir; however, given its possible genotoxic effects, further trials are required to confirm the long-term efficacy and safety of molnupiravir in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Humans , Hydroxylamines , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Ann Hepatol ; 27(3): 100685, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1693950

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic imperiled the global health system. We aimed to determine the impact of COVID-19 on the care continuum of HCV-infected patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Two hundred and fifty-six patients who were prescribed a course of DAA therapy at three tertiary medical centers in the US and China between January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 were included. We assessed the proportions of patients who completed DAA therapy and had HCV RNA testing during and after the end of therapy. We also assessed the impact of utilization of telemedicine. RESULTS: The proportion of patients undergoing HCV RNA testing during DAA treatment decreased from >81.7% before pandemic to 67.8% during the pandemic (P=0.006), with a more prominent decrease in the US. There were significant decreases in HCV RNA testing >12 (P<0.001) and >20 weeks (P<0.001) post-treatment during COVID-19 era. Compared to pre-COVID period, post-treatment clinic encounters during COVID-19 era decreased significantly in China (Xi'an: 13.6% to 7.4%; Nanjing: 16.7% to 12.5%) but increased in the US (12.5% to 16.7%), mainly due to the use of telemedicine. There was a 4-fold increase in utilization of telemedicine in the US. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 pandemic carried profound impact on care for HCV patients in both the US and China. HCV cure rate assessment decreased by half during COVID era but the proportion of patients finishing DAA therapy was not significantly affected. Increased utilization of telemedicine led to increased compliance with DAA therapy but did not encourage patients to have their laboratory assessment for HCV cure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hepatitis C, Chronic , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hepacivirus/genetics , Hepatitis C, Chronic/diagnosis , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Hepatitis C, Chronic/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , RNA
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(23)2021 Nov 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542584

ABSTRACT

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a major pathogenic herpesvirus that is prevalent worldwide and it is associated with a variety of clinical symptoms. Current antiviral therapy options do not fully satisfy the medical needs; thus, improved drug classes and drug-targeting strategies are required. In particular, host-directed antivirals, including pharmaceutical kinase inhibitors, might help improve the drug qualities. Here, we focused on utilizing PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras (PROTACs), i.e., hetero-bifunctional molecules containing two elements, namely a target-binding molecule and a proteolysis-inducing element. Specifically, a PROTAC that was based on a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor, i.e., CDK9-directed PROTAC THAL-SNS032, was analyzed and proved to possess strong anti-HCMV AD169-GFP activity, with values of EC50 of 0.030 µM and CC50 of 0.175 µM (SI of 5.8). Comparing the effect of THAL-SNS032 with its non-PROTAC counterpart SNS032, data indicated a 3.7-fold stronger anti-HCMV efficacy. This antiviral activity, as illustrated for further clinically relevant strains of human and murine CMVs, coincided with the mid-nanomolar concentration range necessary for a drug-induced degradation of the primary (CDK9) and secondary targets (CDK1, CDK2, CDK7). In addition, further antiviral activities were demonstrated, such as the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 replication, whereas other investigated human viruses (i.e., varicella zoster virus, adenovirus type 2, and Zika virus) were found insensitive. Combined, the antiviral quality of this approach is seen in its (i) mechanistic uniqueness; (ii) future options of combinatorial drug treatment; (iii) potential broad-spectrum activity; and (iv) applicability in clinically relevant antiviral models. These novel data are discussed in light of the current achievements of anti-HCMV drug development.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cytomegalovirus/drug effects , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/pharmacology , Adenoviridae/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 9 , Drug Delivery Systems , Herpesvirus 3, Human/drug effects , Humans , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/chemistry , Mice , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Zika Virus/drug effects
5.
J Mol Struct ; 1250: 131920, 2022 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521420

ABSTRACT

A new coronavirus strain called as SARS-CoV-2 has emerged from Wuhan, China in late 2019 and it caused a worldwide pandemic in a few months. After the Second World War, it is the biggest calamity observed as there is no specific US Food and Drugs Administration (USFDA) approved drug or vaccine available globally for the treatment. Several clinical trials are ongoing for therapeutic alternatives, however with little success rate. Considering that the time is crucial, the drug repurposing and data obtained from in silico models are one of the most important approaches to identify possible lead inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2. More recently, the Direct Acting Antivirals (DAAs) are emerged as the most promising drugs to control viral infection. The Main Protease (Mpro), a key enzyme in the SARS-CoV-2 replication cycle, is found close homolog to the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) protease and could be susceptible of blocking its activity by DAAs. In the current study, the DAAs were investigated as antivirals using structure based computational approach against Mpro of SARS-CoV-2 to propose them as new therapeutics. In total, 20 DAAs of HCV, including a reference compound O6K were docked against Mpro. The docked structures were examined and resulted in the identification of six highly promising DAAs i.e. beclabuvir, elbasvir, paritaprevir, grazoprevir, simeprevir, and asunapevir exhibiting high theoretical binding affinity to Mpro from SARS-CoV-2 in comparison to other DAAs. Furthermore, the post docking analysis revealed that Cys145, Glu166, His163, Thr26, His41, and Met165 played potential role for the binding of these DAAs inside binding site of Mpro. Furthermore, the correlation between binding energies were found in accord with the results from the reported IC50s for some DAAs. Overall, the current study provides insight to combat COVID-19 using FDA-approved DAAs as repurposed drugs.

6.
In Vivo ; 35(6): 3377-3383, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485630

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIM: Liver injury has been frequently reported in association with SARS-CoV-2 infection, but data are still lacking regarding the impact of pre-existing liver damage and neoplasia on SARS-CoV-2 infection outcome and vice-versa. This study aimed to assess the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients, both in therapeutic-naïve and patients treated with direct acting antivirals. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study on 21 patients with a personal history of HCV infection, that have been diagnosed with different forms of HCC and who were subsequently infected with SARS-CoV-2. Patients were monitored by liver function tests, tumoral markers, blood cell count, and coagulation profile periodically. RESULTS: Solitary HCC nodules were predominant among the subjects who achieved sustained virologic response, while multinodular and infiltrative patterns were mostly prevalent among the treatment-naïve group. Most patients had mild and moderate COVID-19 infections. CONCLUSION: Within the current global pandemic crisis, cancer patients are highly vulnerable and in need of constant monitoring. Among patients with HCC, the ones with cured HCV infection may be at a lower risk of fatality than those with active HCV infection, when diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular , Hepatitis C, Chronic , Hepatitis C , Liver Neoplasms , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/complications , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/drug therapy , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/epidemiology , Hepatitis C, Chronic/complications , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Hepatitis C, Chronic/epidemiology , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/drug therapy , Liver Neoplasms/complications , Liver Neoplasms/drug therapy , Liver Neoplasms/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Viral Hepat ; 28(10): 1474-1483, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440781

ABSTRACT

The number of patients diagnosed with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is markedly higher than the number initiating treatment indicating gaps in the care cascade, likely centred around reaching at-risk populations. Understanding changing characteristics of patients with HCV allows for targeted programs that increase linkage to care. We investigated changes in demographic and clinical characteristics of patients registered in the German Hepatitis C-Registry (DHC-R) from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2019. The DHC-R is an ongoing, noninterventional, multicentre, prospective, observational cohort registry including 327 German centres. Patient characteristics were analysed over time in 7 phases for all patients completing a screening visit. Overall, 14,357 patients were enrolled. The percentage of treatment-naïve/non-cirrhotic patients increased from 34.4% in phase 1 (1 January-31 December 2014) to 68.2% in phase 7 (1 August-31 December 2019). The proportion of migrants, alcohol users, people who inject drugs, and those receiving opiate substitution therapy increased in later registry phases. Most patients (60.1%) were receiving comedication at baseline. The most prescribed comedications were drugs used to treat opioid dependence which increased from 9.2% in phase 1 to 24.0% in phase 7. The patients' mean age decreased from 52.3 years in phase 1 to 48.7 years in phase 7. From 2014 to 2019, the proportion of at-risk patients enrolling in the registry increased. To eliminate viral hepatitis as a major public health threat, a continued commitment to engaging underserved populations into the HCV care cascade is needed.


Subject(s)
Hepatitis C, Chronic , Hepatitis C , Substance Abuse, Intravenous , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Hepacivirus , Hepatitis C/drug therapy , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Hepatitis C, Chronic/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Registries , Substance Abuse, Intravenous/drug therapy
8.
Viruses ; 12(6)2020 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389514

ABSTRACT

Single-stranded positive RNA ((+) ssRNA) viruses include several important human pathogens. Some members are responsible for large outbreaks, such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, while others are endemic, causing an enormous global health burden. Since vaccines or specific treatments are not available for most viral infections, the discovery of direct-acting antivirals (DAA) is an urgent need. Still, the low-throughput nature of and biosafety concerns related to traditional antiviral assays hinders the discovery of new inhibitors. With the advances of reverse genetics, reporter replicon systems have become an alternative tool for the screening of DAAs. Herein, we review decades of the use of (+) ssRNA viruses replicon systems for the discovery of antiviral agents. We summarize different strategies used to develop those systems, as well as highlight some of the most promising inhibitors identified by the method. Despite the genetic alterations introduced, reporter replicons have been shown to be reliable systems for screening and identification of viral replication inhibitors and, therefore, an important tool for the discovery of new DAAs.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Discovery/methods , Genes, Reporter/physiology , RNA Viruses/drug effects , Replicon/physiology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Humans , RNA Viruses/genetics , Transfection , Vero Cells
9.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(7): ofab267, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376326

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Genotype 6 is the most genetically diverse lineage of hepatitis C virus, and it predominates in Vietnam. It can be treated with sofosbuvir with daclatasvir (SOF/DCV), the least expensive treatment combination globally. In regional guidelines, longer treatment durations of SOF/DCV (24 weeks) are recommended for cirrhotic individuals, compared with other pangenotypic regimens (12 weeks), based on sparse data. Early on-treatment virological response may offer means of reducing length and cost of therapy in patients with liver fibrosis. METHODS: In this prospective trial in Vietnam, genotype 6-infected adults with advanced liver fibrosis or compensated cirrhosis were treated with SOF/DCV. Day 14 viral load was used to guide duration of therapy: participants with viral load <500 IU/mL at day 14 were treated with 12 weeks of SOF/DCV and those ≥500 IU/mL received 24 weeks. Primary endpoint was sustained virological response (SVR). RESULTS: Of 41 individuals with advanced fibrosis or compensated cirrhosis who commenced treatment, 51% had genotype 6a and 34% had 6e. The remainder had 6h, 6k, 6l, or 6o. One hundred percent had viral load <500 IU/mL by day 14, meaning that all received 12 weeks of SOF/DCV. One hundred percent achieved SVR12 despite a high frequency of putative NS5A inhibitor resistance-associated substitutions at baseline. CONCLUSIONS: Prescribing 12 weeks of SOF/DCV results in excellent cure rates in this population. These data support the removal of costly genotyping in countries where genotype 3 prevalence is <5%, in keeping with World Health Organization guidelines. NS5A resistance-associated mutations in isolation do not affect efficacy of SOF/DCV therapy. Wider evaluation of response-guided therapy is warranted.

10.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 79(3): 173-178, 2022 01 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228434

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: A barrier to using organs from hepatitis C virus (HCV)-viremic donors is the high cost of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) and concerns about access for recipients after transplantation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate access, cost, and timing for HCV DAAs following transplantation. METHODS: This was a single-center, retrospective study of HCV-negative adult transplant recipients from June 2017 to December 2019 who received grafts from HCV-viremic and/or HCV-seropositive individuals and became HCV viremic after transplantation. RESULTS: Between June 2017 and December 2019, there were 60 HCV-negative transplant recipients who became viremic after receiving grafts from HCV-viremic or HCV-seropositive donors. Thirty-eight patients met the inclusion criteria (n = 25 with liver transplants, n = 6 with lung transplants, n = 4 with simultaneous liver and kidney transplants, and n = 3 with kidney transplants). Of these patients, 23 had commercial insurance, 13 had Medicare, and 2 had Medicaid. All patients ultimately received insurance coverage for treatment; however, 36 (95%) required prior authorization and 9 (24%) required appeals to obtain insurance coverage. The median time from DAA prescription to insurance approval was 6 days. The median time from transplantation to start of treatment was 29 days (range, 0-84 days). Patients with Medicaid insurance had a significantly longer time to insurance approval (31.5 vs 6 days, P = 0.007). The average out-of-pocket cost to patients was less than $10 a month after patient assistance. All patients who completed treatment and 12-week follow-up after treatment achieved a sustained virologic response (n = 36). CONCLUSION: In this study, all HCV-negative recipients who developed HCV following transplantation had access to DAA therapy, with the majority starting treatment in the first month after transplantation.


Subject(s)
Hepatitis C, Chronic , Hepatitis C , Adult , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Hepacivirus , Hepatitis C/drug therapy , Hepatitis C/epidemiology , Hepatitis C, Chronic/diagnosis , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Hepatitis C, Chronic/epidemiology , Humans , Medicare , Retrospective Studies , Tissue Donors , Transplant Recipients , United States
11.
Viruses ; 13(2)2021 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045365

ABSTRACT

Viral proteases are critical enzymes for the maturation of many human pathogenic viruses and thus are key targets for direct acting antivirals (DAAs). The current viral pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is in dire need of DAAs. The Main protease (Mpro) is the focus of extensive structure-based drug design efforts which are mostly covalent inhibitors targeting the catalytic cysteine. ML188 is a non-covalent inhibitor designed to target SARS-CoV-1 Mpro, and provides an initial scaffold for the creation of effective pan-coronavirus inhibitors. In the current study, we found that ML188 inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Mpro at 2.5 µM, which is more potent than against SAR-CoV-1 Mpro. We determined the crystal structure of ML188 in complex with SARS-CoV-2 Mpro to 2.39 Å resolution. Sharing 96% sequence identity, structural comparison of the two complexes only shows subtle differences. Non-covalent protease inhibitors complement the design of covalent inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 main protease and are critical initial steps in the design of DAAs to treat CoVID 19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Amino Acid Sequence , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Drug Discovery , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Models, Molecular , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS Virus/enzymology
12.
Front Microbiol ; 11: 587944, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954705

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) has caused an unprecedented global crisis. The etiological agent is a new virus called the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). As of October, 2020 there have been 45.4 million confirmed cases with a mortality rate of 2.6% globally. With the lack of a vaccine and effective treatments, the race is on to find a cure for the virus infection using specific antivirals. The viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, proteases, spike protein-host angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 binding and fusion have presented as attractive targets for pan-coronavirus and broad spectrum direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). This review presents a perspective on current re-purposing treatments and future DAAs.

13.
ACS Infect Dis ; 6(9): 2304-2318, 2020 09 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-656961

ABSTRACT

There is a large global unmet need for effective countermeasures to combat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The development of novel antiviral drugs is expensive and too slow to meet the immediate need. The repurposing of drugs that are approved or are under advanced clinical investigation provides a cost- and time-effective therapeutic solution. This review summarizes the major repurposed approaches that have been proposed or are already being studied in clinical trials for COVID-19. Among these approaches are drugs that aim to reduce SARS-CoV-2 replication by targeting either viral enzymatic functions or cellular factors required for the viral life cycle. Drugs that modulate the host immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection by boosting it to enhance viral clearance or by suppressing it to prevent excessive inflammation and tissue injury represent another category. Lastly, we discuss means to discover repurposed drugs and the ongoing challenges associated with the off-label use of existing drugs in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Animals , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/prevention & control , Inflammation/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication/drug effects
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