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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 Oct 24;62(11). pii: e01315-18. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01315-18. Print 2018 Nov.

In Vivo Efficacy of VT-1129 against Experimental Cryptococcal Meningitis with the Use of a Loading Dose-Maintenance Dose Administration Strategy.

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University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
South Texas Veterans Health Care System, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
Viamet Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Durham, North Carolina, USA.


VT-1129 is a novel fungal enzyme-specific Cyp51 inhibitor with potent cryptococcal activity. Because of its long half-life (>6 days in mice) and our desire to quickly reach potent efficacy, we evaluated a VT-1129 loading dose-maintenance dose strategy against cryptococcal meningitis. VT-1129 plasma and brain pharmacokinetics were first studied in healthy mice, and these data were used to model loading dose-maintenance dose regimens to generate different steady-state concentrations. Mice were inoculated intracranially with Cryptococcus neoformans, and oral treatment began 1 day later. Treatment consisted of placebo or one of three VT-1129 loading dose-maintenance dose regimens, i.e., loading dose of 1, 3, or 30 mg/kg on day 1, followed by once-daily maintenance doses of 0.15, 0.5, or 5 mg/kg, respectively. In the fungal burden arm, therapy continued for 14 days and brains were collected on day 15 for fungal burden assessments. In the survival arm, treatment continued for 10 days, after which mice were monitored without therapy until day 30. VT-1129 plasma and brain concentrations were also measured. All VT-1129 doses significantly improved survival and reduced fungal burdens, compared to placebo. VT-1129 plasma and brain levels correlated with fungal burden reductions (R 2 = 0.72 and R 2 = 0.67, respectively), with a plasma concentration of 1 μg/ml yielding a reduction of ∼5 log10 CFU/g. With the highest loading dose-maintenance dose regimen, fungal burdens were undetectable in one-half of the mice in the fungal burden arm and in one-fourth of the mice in the survival arm, 20 days after the final dose. These data support a loading dose-maintenance dose strategy for quickly reaching highly efficacious VT-1129 concentrations for treating cryptococcal meningitis.


Cryptococcus neoformans; VT-1129; cryptococcal meningitis; in vivo efficacy; loading dose; maintenance dose; murine model

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