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Antiviral Res. 2010 May;86(2):144-53. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2010.02.312. Epub 2010 Feb 13.

A novel Hepatitis C virus p7 ion channel inhibitor, BIT225, inhibits bovine viral diarrhea virus in vitro and shows synergism with recombinant interferon-alpha-2b and nucleoside analogues.

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Biotron Limited, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


The novel small molecule, BIT225 (N-[5-(1-methyl-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)-napthalene-2-carbonyl]-guanidine: CAS No. 917909-71-8), was initially identified using a screening strategy designed to detect inhibitors of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) p7 ion channel activity. Here we report that BIT225 has potent stand-alone antiviral activity against the HCV model pestivirus bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) with an IC(50) of 314nM. Combinations of BIT225 with recombinant interferon alpha-2b (rIFNalpha-2b) show synergistic antiviral action against BVDV and the synergy is further enhanced by addition of ribavirin. Synergy was also observed between BIT225 and two nucleoside analogues known to inhibit the HCV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. BIT225 has successfully completed a phase Ia dose escalating, single dose safety trial in healthy volunteers and a phase Ib/IIa trial to evaluate the safety and pharmacokinetics of repeated dosing for selected doses of BIT225 in HCV-infected persons. A modest, but statistically significant drop in patient viral load was detected over the 7 days of dosing (ref. Given the critical role of the p7 protein in the HCV life cycle and pathogenicity, our data indicate that molecules like BIT225, representing a new class of antiviral compounds, may be developable for therapeutic use against HCV infection, either as monotherapy, or in combination with other HCV drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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