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Antivir Chem Chemother. 2006;17(1):33-9.

Conversion of viramidine to ribavirin in vivo by adenosine deaminase and its inhibition by 2'-deoxycoformycin.

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  • 1Drug Discovery and Development, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Costa Mesa, CA, USA.


Previously we reported that viramidine is a prodrug of ribavirin and that adenosine deaminase catalyses viramidine deamination to ribavirin in vivo. This in vivo study explores this prodrug conversion in rats and inhibition by a potent adenosine deaminase inhibitor, 2'-deoxycoformycin. We found that conversion of viramidine to ribavirin was viramidine dose-dependent in rat plasma. A single intravenous dose of 0.25 mg/kg 2'-deoxycoformycin suppressed orally administered viramidine conversion to ribavirin in plasma by 50%. The inhibition was 2'-deoxycoformycin dose-dependent and a single dose of 2 mg/kg decreased the ribavirin/viramidine area under the concentration-time curve between 0 h and 6 h ratio by 2.5-fold. These findings provide strong evidence that adenosine deaminase plays a major role in converting viramidine to ribavirin in vivo.

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