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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Aug;56(8):4161-7. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00324-12. Epub 2012 May 21.

MK-5172, a selective inhibitor of hepatitis C virus NS3/4a protease with broad activity across genotypes and resistant variants.

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  • 1Merck & Co. Inc., Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, USA.

Erratum in

  • Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014 Aug;58(8):4995. Huang, Qian [added].


HCV NS3/4a protease inhibitors are proven therapeutic agents against chronic hepatitis C virus infection, with boceprevir and telaprevir having recently received regulatory approval as add-on therapy to pegylated interferon/ribavirin for patients harboring genotype 1 infections. Overcoming antiviral resistance, broad genotype coverage, and a convenient dosing regimen are important attributes for future agents to be used in combinations without interferon. In this communication, we report the preclinical profile of MK-5172, a novel P2-P4 quinoxaline macrocyclic NS3/4a protease inhibitor currently in clinical development. The compound demonstrates subnanomolar activity against a broad enzyme panel encompassing major hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes as well as variants resistant to earlier protease inhibitors. In replicon selections, MK-5172 exerted high selective pressure, which yielded few resistant colonies. In both rat and dog, MK-5172 demonstrates good plasma and liver exposures, with 24-h liver levels suggestive of once-daily dosing. When administered to HCV-infected chimpanzees harboring chronic gt1a or gt1b infections, MK-5172 suppressed viral load between 4 to 5 logs at a dose of 1 mg/kg of body weight twice daily (b.i.d.) for 7 days. Based on its preclinical profile, MK-5172 is anticipated to be broadly active against multiple HCV genotypes and clinically important resistance variants and highly suited for incorporation into newer all-oral regimens.

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