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J Pharm Sci. 2002 Mar;91(3):660-8.

Effect of mono- and di-acylation on the ocular disposition of ganciclovir: physicochemical properties, ocular bioreversion, and antiviral activity of short chain ester prodrugs.

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Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 5005 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110-2499, USA.


A series of short-chain carboxylic mono- and diesters of ganciclovir were synthesized in our laboratory. Physico-chemical properties, i.e., solubility (pH 4.2), partition coefficient in 1-octanol/phosphate buffer (pH 7.4), aqueous stability at various pH values, bioreversion kinetics in various ocular homogenates and effectiveness against various Herpes viruses in vitro were determined. The compounds exhibited a decrease in solubility as the ester length ascended with a corresponding increase in the octanol/buffer partition coefficient values. All of the prodrugs exhibit stability profiles typical of a carboxylic ester with maximum stability at neutral or slight acidic pH (4.0-7.0). Apparent first-order rate constants associated with prodrug to drug hydrolysis in the ocular homogenates varied depending on the size of the promoiety, lipophilicity of the compound, and the ocular tissue studied. The acetyl and butyryl mono and diesters were screened against various Herpes viruses. The monobutyrate ester of ganciclovir exhibits excellent activity against HSV-2 and VZV and provides a very high selectivity index against most of the viruses studied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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