The relationship of inhibitory quotient (IQ) with the virologic response to specific inhibitors of human hepatitis C virus (HCV) and the best method to correct for serum protein binding in calculating IQ have not been addressed. A common method is to determine a fold shift by comparing the EC(50) values determined in cell culture in the absence and presence of human serum (fold shift in EC(50) ), but this method has a number of disadvantages. In the present study, the fold shifts in drug concentrations between 100% human plasma (HP) and cell culture medium (CCM) were directly measured using a modified comparative equilibrium dialysis (CED) assay for three HCV protease inhibitors (PIs) and for a novel HCV inhibitor GS-9132. The fold shift values in drug concentration between the HP and CCM (CED ratio) were ∼1 for SCH-503034, VX-950 and GS-9132 and 13 for BILN-2061. These values were ∼3-10-fold lower than the fold shift values calculated from the EC(50) assay for all inhibitors except BILN-2061. Using the CED values, a consistent pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic relationship was observed for the four HCV inhibitors analysed. Specifically, an approximate 1 log(10) reduction in HCV RNA was achieved with an IQ close to 1, while 2-3 and greater log(10) reductions in HCV RNA were achieved with IQ values of 3-5 and greater, respectively. Thus, use of CED to define IQ provides a predictive and quantitative approach for the assessment of the in vivo potency of HCV PIs and GS-9132. This method provides a framework for the evaluation of other classes of drugs that are bound by serum proteins but require the presence of serum for in vitro evaluation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical trials of direct-acting antiviral agents in patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have demonstrated that viral resistance is detected rapidly during monotherapy. In patients, HCV does not exist as a single, genetically homogenous virus but rather as a population of variants termed "quasispecies." Preexisting variants resistant to specific antiviral drugs, overlooked in traditional hit-to-lead discovery efforts, may be responsible for these poor clinical outcomes. To enable real-time studies of resistance emergence in live cells, we established fluorescent protein-labeled HCV replicon cell lines. We validated these cell lines by demonstrating that antiviral susceptibility and the selection of signature resistance mutations for various drug classes are similar to traditional replicon cell lines. By quantifying the kinetics and uniformity of replication within colonies of drug-resistant fluorescent replicon cells, we showed that resistance emerged from a single cell and preexisted in a treatment-naive replicon population. Within this population, we determined the relative frequency of preexisting replicons capable of establishing foci during treatment with distinct antivirals. By measuring relative frequency as a function of dose, we quantitatively ranked distinct antiviral molecules on the basis of their distinct barriers to resistance. These insights into RNA virus quasispecies structure provide guidance for selecting clinical drug concentrations and selecting antiviral drug combinations most likely to suppress resistance.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2011; 108(25):10290-5. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1101515108 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GS-5885 is an inhibitor of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS5A protein and exhibits potent suppression of genotype 1 HCV replicons. The safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, antiviral activity, and resistance profile of once-daily GS-5885 doses of 1-90 mg were evaluated in patients with chronic genotype 1 HCV.
Genotype 1 HCV-infected patients were randomized to 3 days of once-daily (QD) dosing with placebo (n=12) or GS-5885 1 mg (n=10), 3 mg (n=10), 10 mg (n=20), 30 mg (n=10), or 90 mg (n=10). Plasma samples for pharmacokinetics, HCV RNA, and NS5A sequencing were collected through day 14.
GS-5885 was well tolerated and resulted in median maximal reductions in HCV RNA ranging from 2.3 log(10) IU/ml (1 mg QD) to 3.3 log(10) IU/ml (10 mg QD in genotype 1b and 30 mg QD). E(max) modeling indicated GS-5885 30 mg was associated with>95% of maximal antiviral response to HCV genotype 1a. HCV RNA reductions were generally more sustained among patients with genotype 1b vs. 1a. Three of 60 patients had a reduced response and harbored NS5A-resistant virus at baseline. NS5A sequencing identified residues 30 and 31 in genotype 1a, and 93 in genotype 1b as the predominant sites of mutation following GS-5885 dosing. Plasma pharmacokinetics was consistent with QD dosing.
During 3 days of monotherapy, low doses of GS-5885 demonstrated significant antiviral activity in genotype 1a and 1b HCV-infected patients. GS-5885 is currently being evaluated in combination with direct antiviral regimens with and without peginterferon.
Journal of Hepatology 02/2012; 57(1):24-31. DOI:10.1016/j.jhep.2011.12.029 · 11.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new class of highly potent NS5A inhibitors with an unsymmetric benzimidazole-difluorofluorene-imidazole core and distal [2.2.1]azabicyclic ring system was discovered. Optimization of antiviral potency and pharmacokinetics led to the identification of 39 (ledipasvir, GS-5885). Compound 39 (GT1a replicon EC50 = 31 pM) has an extended plasma half-life of 37-45 hours in healthy volunteers, and produces a rapid > 3 log10 viral load reduction in monotherapy at oral doses of 3 milligrams or greater with once-daily dosing in genotype 1a HCV infected patients. 39 has been shown to be safe and efficacious with SVR12 rates up to 100% when used in combination with direct-acting antivirals having complementary mechanisms.
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