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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Jun;55(6):2566-75. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00032-11. Epub 2011 Mar 28.

Inhibition of hepatitis C virus replicon RNA synthesis by PSI-352938, a cyclic phosphate prodrug of β-D-2'-deoxy-2'-α-fluoro-2'-β-C-methylguanosine.

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Pharmasset, Inc., 303A College Road East, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA.


PSI-352938 is a novel cyclic phosphate prodrug of β-D-2'-deoxy-2'-α-fluoro-2'-β-C-methylguanosine 5'-monophosphate that has potent activity against hepatitis C virus (HCV) in vitro. The studies described here characterize the in vitro anti-HCV activity of PSI-352938, alone and in combination with other inhibitors of HCV, and the cross-resistance profile of PSI-352938. The effective concentration required to achieve 50% inhibition for PSI-352938, determined using genotype 1a-, 1b-, and 2a-derived replicons stably expressed in the Lunet cell line, were 0.20, 0.13, and 0.14 μM, respectively. The active 5'-triphosphate metabolite, PSI-352666, inhibited recombinant NS5B polymerase from genotypes 1 to 4 with comparable 50% inhibitory concentrations. In contrast, PSI-352938 did not inhibit the replication of hepatitis B virus or human immunodeficiency virus in vitro. PSI-352666 did not significantly affect the activity of human DNA and RNA polymerases. PSI-352938 and its cyclic phosphate metabolites did not affect the cyclic GMP-mediated activation of protein kinase G. Clearance studies using replicon cells demonstrated that PSI-352938 cleared cells of HCV replicon RNA and prevented replicon rebound. An additive to synergistic effect was observed when PSI-352938 was combined with other classes of HCV inhibitors, including alpha interferon, ribavirin, NS3/4A inhibitors, an NS5A inhibitor, and nucleoside/nucleotide and nonnucleoside inhibitors. Cross-resistance studies showed that PSI-352938 remained fully active against replicons containing the S282T or the S96T/N142T amino acid alteration. Replicons that contain mutations conferring resistance to various classes of nonnucleoside inhibitors also remained sensitive to inhibition by PSI-352938. PSI-352938 is currently being evaluated in a phase I clinical study in genotype 1-infected individuals.

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