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Virology. 2004 Jan 20;318(2):474-81.

Efficacy of oral active ether lipid analogs of cidofovir in a lethal mousepox model.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA.


Cidofovir (CDV) is a highly effective inhibitor of orthopoxvirus replication and may be used intravenously to treat smallpox or complications arising from the smallpox vaccine under an investigational new drug application (IND). However, CDV is absorbed poorly following oral administration and is inactive orally. To improve the bioavailability of CDV, others synthesized alkoxyalkanol esters of CDV and observed >100-fold more activity than unmodified CDV against cowpox, vaccinia, and variola virus (VARV) replication. These ether lipid analogs of CDV have high oral bioavailability in mice. In this study, we compared the oral activity of CDV with the hexadecyloxypropyl (HDP)-, octadecyloxyethyl-, oleyloxypropyl-, and oleyloxyethyl-esters of CDV in a lethal, aerosol ectromelia virus (ECTV) challenge model in A/NCR mice. Octadecyloxyethyl-CDV appeared to be the most potent CDV analog as a dose regimen of 5 mg/kg started 4 h following challenge completely blocked virus replication in spleen and liver, and protected 100% of A/NCR mice, although oral, unmodified CDV was inactive. These results suggest that this family of compounds deserves further evaluation as poxvirus antiviral.

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