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Drug Metab Dispos. 2009 Mar;37(3):494-501. doi: 10.1124/dmd.108.022269. Epub 2008 Dec 23.

5'-aminocarbonyl phosphonates as new zidovudine depot forms: antiviral properties, intracellular transformations, and pharmacokinetic parameters.

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Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

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  • Drug Metab Dispos. 2010 Jul;38(7):1258.


The main disadvantages of 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (zidovudine, AZT), the most common anti-HIV drug, are toxicity and a short half-life in the organism. The introduction of an H-phosphonate group into the AZT 5' position resulted in significant improvement of its therapeutic properties and allowed a new anti-HIV drug, Nikavir (AZT H-phosphonate). In this work, we described a new group of AZT derivatives, namely, AZT 5'-aminocarbonylphosphonates. The synthesized compounds displayed antiviral properties in cell cultures infected with HIV-1 and the capacity to release the active nucleoside in animals (rabbits and dogs) in a dose-dependent manner. The compounds were less toxic in MT-4 and HL-60 cell cultures and experimental animals compared with AZT. Major metabolites found in MT-4 cells after their incubation with AZT 5'-aminocarbonylphosphonate 1 were AZT and AZT 5'-phosphate (25 and 55%, respectively). Among the tested compounds, phosphonate 1 was the most effective AZT donor, and its longest t(1/2) and T(max) values in the line phosphonate 1--AZT H-phosphonate--AZT imply that compound 1 is an extended depot form of AZT. Although bioavailability of AZT after oral administration of phosphonate 1 was lower than those of AZT H-phosphonate and AZT (8 against 14 and 49%), we expect that this reduction would not cause essential decrease of antiviral activity but noticeably decrease toxicity as a result of gradual accumulation of AZT in blood and the absence of sharp difference between C(max) and C(min). Such a combination of properties makes the compounds of this group promising for further studies as extended-release forms of AZT.

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