[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While new direct-acting antiviral agents for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection have been approved, there is a continued need for novel antiviral agents that act on new targets and can be used in combination with current therapies to enhance efficacy and to restrict emergence of drug resistant viral variants. To this end, we have identified a novel class of small molecules, exemplified by PTC725, that target the nonstructural protein 4B (NS4B). PTC725 inhibited HCV 1b (Con 1) replicon with an EC50 of 1.7 nM and an EC90 of 9.6 nM and demonstrated a >1000-fold selectivity window with respect to cytotoxicity. The compounds were fully active against HCV replicon mutants that are resistant to inhibitors of NS3 protease and NS5B polymerase. Replicons selected for resistance to PTC725 harbored amino acid substitutions F98L/C and V105M in NS4B. Anti-replicon activity of PTC725 was additive to synergistic in combination with alpha interferon or with inhibitors of HCV protease and polymerase. Immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated that neither the HCV inhibitors nor the F98C substitution altered the subcellular localization of NS4B or NS5A in replicon cells. Oral dosing of PTC725 showed a favorable pharmacokinetic profile with high liver and plasma exposure in mice and rats. Modeling of dosing regimens in humans indicates that a once-per-day or twice-per-day oral dosing regimen is feasible. Overall, the preclinical data support the development of PTC725 for use in the treatment of chronic HCV infection.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 04/2013; · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AIMS: To examine the antiviral activity of boceprevir, a hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor, in HCV genotype (G) 2/3-infected patients. METHODS: We assessed boceprevir and telaprevir activity against an HCV G2 and G3 isolates enzyme panel, in replicon, and in phenotypic cell-based assays. Additionally, a phase I study evaluated the antiviral activity of boceprevir monotherapy (200 mg BID, 400 mg BID, or 400 mg TID) versus placebo for 14 days in HCV G2/3 treatment-naive patients. RESULTS: Boceprevir and telaprevir similarly inhibited G1 and G2 NS3/4A enzymes and replication in G1 and G2 replicon and cell-based assays. However, telaprevir demonstrated lower potency than boceprevir against HCV G3a enzyme (Ki = 75 nM vs. 17 nM); in the G3a replicon assay (EC50 = 953 nM vs. 159 nM); and against HCV G3a NS3 isolates (IC50 = 3312 nM vs. 803 nM) in the cell-based assay. In HCV G2/3-infected patients, boceprevir (400 mg TID) resulted in a maximum mean decrease in HCV RNA of -1.60 log vs. -0.21 log with placebo. CONCLUSIONS: In vitro, boceprevir is more active than telaprevir against the HCV G3 NS3/4A enzyme in cell-based and biochemical assays and against G3 isolates in replicon assays. In HCV G2/3-infected treatment-naive patients, decreases in HCV RNA levels with boceprevir (400 mg TID) were comparable to those observed with the same dose in HCV treatment-experienced G1-infected patients.
Journal of Hepatology 02/2013; · 9.86 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SAR development of indole-based palm site inhibitors of HCV NS5B polymerase exemplified by initial indole lead 1 (NS5B IC(50)=0.9 μM, replicon EC(50)>100 μM) is described. Structure-based drug design led to the incorporation of novel heterocyclic moieties at the indole C3-position which formed a bidentate interaction with the protein backbone. SAR development resulted in leads 7q (NS5B IC(50)=0.032 μM, replicon EC(50)=1.4 μM) and 7r (NS5B IC(50)=0.017 μM, replicon EC(50)=0.3 μM) with improved enzyme and replicon activity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Boceprevir (SCH 503034) is an orally active novel inhibitor of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3 protease currently in clinical development for the treatment of hepatitis C. In this in vitro study, we demonstrate that combination of boceprevir with a nucleoside analog or a non-nucleoside HCV NS5B polymerase inhibitor was superior to treatment by single agents in inhibiting viral RNA replication in replicon cells. In the presence of boceprevir (at 5xEC(90)), the addition of 2'-C-methyl-adenosine or an indole-N-acetamide targeting the polymerase finger-loop site (at 1xEC(90)) significantly reduced the emergence of resistant replicon colonies. A higher dose (5xEC(90)) of either of the polymerase inhibitors in combination with boceprevir suppressed replicon resistance further to below detectable levels. Sequencing analysis of replicon cells selected by the combination treatment revealed known resistance mutations to the two polymerase inhibitors but no previously reported resistance mutations to boceprevir. Interestingly, a novel mutation (M175L) in the protease domain was identified. The dually resistant replicon cells were monitored for over 30 passages and sensitivity to polymerase inhibitors was found to decrease over time in a manner that correlated with the increasing prevalence of specific resistance mutations. Importantly, these cells remained sensitive to interferon-alpha and different classes of polymerase inhibitors. These findings support the rationale for clinical evaluation of combination treatment of HCV protease and polymerase inhibitors.
Antiviral research 09/2009; 84(2):178-84. · 3.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA ligase catalyzes the closure of single-strand nicks in double-stranded DNA that arise during replication and recombination. Inhibition of bacterial ligase is expected to cause chromosome degradation and cell death, making it an attractive target for new antibacterials. The prototypical bacterial ligase couples the hydrolysis of NAD(+) to phosphodiester bond formation between an adjacent 3'OH and 5'-terminal phosphate of nicked duplex DNA. The first step is the reversible formation of a ligase-adenylate from the reaction between apoenzyme and NAD(+). Inhibitors that compete with NAD(+) are expected to be bacterial specific because eukaryotic DNA ligases use ATP and differ in the sequence composition of their adenylation domain. We report here a high-throughput assay that measures the adenylation reaction specifically by monitoring ligase-AMP formation via scintillation proximity technologies. Escherichia coli DNA ligase was biotinylated in vivo; after reaction with radiolabeled NAD(+), ligase-[(3)H]AMP could be captured onto the streptavidin-coated surface of the solid scintillant. The method was ideal for high-throughput screening because it required minimal manipulations and generated a robust signal with minimal scatter. Certain adenosine analogs were found to inhibit the adenylation assay and had similar potency of inhibition in a DNA ligation assay.