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1.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-334706

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic remains uncontrolled despite the rapid rollout of safe and effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, underscoring the need to develop highly effective antivirals. In the setting of waning immunity from infection and vaccination, breakthrough infections are becoming increasingly common and treatment options remain limited. Additionally, the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern with their potential to escape therapeutic monoclonal antibodies emphasizes the need to develop second-generation oral antivirals targeting highly conserved viral proteins that can be rapidly deployed to outpatients. Here, we demonstrate the in vitro antiviral activity and in vivo therapeutic efficacy of GS-621763, an orally bioavailable prodrug of GS-441524, the parental nucleoside of remdesivir, which targets the highly conserved RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. GS-621763 exhibited significant antiviral activity in lung cell lines and two different human primary lung cell culture systems. The dose-proportional pharmacokinetic profile observed after oral administration of GS-621763 translated to dose-dependent antiviral activity in mice infected with SARS-CoV-2. Therapeutic GS-621763 significantly reduced viral load, lung pathology, and improved pulmonary function in COVID-19 mouse model. A direct comparison of GS-621763 with molnupiravir, an oral nucleoside analog antiviral currently in human clinical trial, proved both drugs to be similarly efficacious. These data demonstrate that therapy with oral prodrugs of remdesivir can significantly improve outcomes in SARS-CoV-2 infected mice. Thus, GS-621763 supports the exploration of GS-441524 oral prodrugs for the treatment of COVID-19 in humans.

2.
PubMed; 2020.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-331914

ABSTRACT

A safe, effective, and scalable vaccine is urgently needed to halt the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Here, we describe the structure-based design of self-assembling protein nanoparticle immunogens that elicit potent and protective antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 in mice. The nanoparticle vaccines display 60 copies of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein receptor-binding domain (RBD) in a highly immunogenic array and induce neutralizing antibody titers roughly ten-fold higher than the prefusion-stabilized S ectodomain trimer despite a more than five-fold lower dose. Antibodies elicited by the nanoparticle immunogens target multiple distinct epitopes on the RBD, suggesting that they may not be easily susceptible to escape mutations, and exhibit a significantly lower binding:neutralizing ratio than convalescent human sera, which may minimize the risk of vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease. The high yield and stability of the protein components and assembled nanoparticles, especially compared to the SARS-CoV-2 prefusion-stabilized S trimer, suggest that manufacture of the nanoparticle vaccines will be highly scalable. These results highlight the utility of robust antigen display platforms for inducing potent neutralizing antibody responses and have launched cGMP manufacturing efforts to advance the lead RBD nanoparticle vaccine into the clinic.

3.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-329391

ABSTRACT

Background: Easily distributed oral antivirals are urgently needed to treat coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), prevent progression to severe illness, and block transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We report the results of a Phase 2a trial evaluating the safety, tolerability, and antiviral efficacy of molnupiravir in the treatment of COVID-19 ( ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04405570 ). Methods: Eligible participants included outpatients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and symptom onset within 7 days. Participants were randomized 1:1 to 200 mg molnupiravir or placebo, or 3:1 to molnupiravir (400 or 800 mg) or placebo, twice-daily for 5 days. Antiviral activity was assessed as time to undetectable levels of viral RNA by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and time to elimination of infectious virus isolation from nasopharyngeal swabs. Results: Among 202 treated participants, virus isolation was significantly lower in participants receiving 800 mg molnupiravir (1.9%) versus placebo (16.7%) at Day 3 (p = 0.02). At Day 5, virus was not isolated from any participants receiving 400 or 800 mg molnupiravir, versus 11.1% of those receiving placebo (p = 0.03). Time to viral RNA clearance was decreased and a greater proportion overall achieved clearance in participants administered 800 mg molnupiravir versus placebo (p = 0.01). Molnupiravir was generally well tolerated, with similar numbers of adverse events across all groups. Conclusions: Molnupiravir is the first oral, direct-acting antiviral shown to be highly effective at reducing nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 infectious virus and viral RNA and has a favorable safety and tolerability profile.

4.
MEDLINE;
Preprint in English | MEDLINE | ID: ppcovidwho-328527

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2 have demonstrated clinical benefit in cases of mild to moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection, substantially reducing the risk for hospitalization and severe disease1-4. Treatment generally requires the administration of high doses of these mAbs with limited efficacy in preventing disease complications or mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients5. Here we report the development and evaluation of Fc-optimized anti-SARS-CoV-2 mAbs with superior potency to prevent or treat COVID-19 disease. In several animal models of COVID-19 disease6,7, we demonstrate that selective engagement of activating FcgammaRs results in improved efficacy in both preventing and treating disease-induced weight loss and mortality, significantly reducing the dose required to confer full protection upon SARS-CoV-2 challenge and treatment of pre-infected animals. Our results highlight the importance of FcgammaR pathways in driving antibody-mediated antiviral immunity, while excluding any pathogenic or disease-enhancing effects of FcgammaR engagement of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies upon infection. These findings have important implications for the development of Fc-engineered mAbs with optimal Fc effector function and improved clinical efficacy against COVID-19 disease.

5.
Mbio ; 12(2):9, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1434904

ABSTRACT

The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor is a major severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) host range determinant, and understanding SARS-CoV-2-ACE2 interactions will provide important insights into COVID-19 pathogenesis and animal model development. SARS-CoV-2 cannot infect mice due to incompatibility between its receptor binding domain and the murine ACE2 receptor. Through molecular modeling and empirical in vitro validation, we identified 5 key amino acid differences between murine and human ACE2 that mediate SARS-CoV-2 infection, generating a chimeric humanized murine ACE2. Additionally, we examined the ability of the humanized murine ACE2 receptor to permit infection by an additional preemergent group 2B coronavirus, WIV-1, providing evidence for the potential pan-virus capabilities of this chimeric receptor. Finally, we predicted the ability of these determinants to inform host range identification of preemergent coronaviruses by evaluating hot spot contacts between SARS-CoV-2 and additional potential host receptors. Our results identify residue determinants that mediate coronavirus receptor usage and host range for application in SARSCoV-2 and emerging coronavirus animal model development. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent of COVID-19) is a major public health threat and one of two related coronaviruses that have caused epidemics in modern history. A method of screening potential infectible hosts for preemergent and future emergent coronaviruses would aid in mounting rapid response and intervention strategies during future emergence events. Here, we evaluated determinants of SARS-CoV-2 receptor interactions, identifying key changes that enable or prevent infection. The analysis detailed in this study will aid in the development of model systems to screen emergent coronaviruses as well as treatments to counteract infections.

6.
Epidemiol Infect ; 148: e267, 2020 08 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-912841

ABSTRACT

Previous research on respiratory infection transmission among university students has primarily focused on influenza. In this study, we explore potential transmission events for multiple respiratory pathogens in a social contact network of university students. University students residing in on-campus housing (n = 590) were followed for the development of influenza-like illness for 10-weeks during the 2012-13 influenza season. A contact network was built using weekly self-reported contacts, class schedules, and housing information. We considered a transmission event to have occurred if students were positive for the same pathogen and had a network connection within a 14-day period. Transmitters were individuals who had onset date prior to their infected social contact. Throat and nasal samples were analysed for multiple viruses by RT-PCR. Five viruses were involved in 18 transmission events (influenza A, parainfluenza virus 3, rhinovirus, coronavirus NL63, respiratory syncytial virus). Transmitters had higher numbers of co-infections (67%). Identified transmission events had contacts reported in small classes (33%), dormitory common areas (22%) and dormitory rooms (17%). These results suggest that targeting person-to-person interactions, through measures such as isolation and quarantine, could reduce transmission of respiratory infections on campus.


Subject(s)
Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Social Networking , Students , Virus Diseases/transmission , Coinfection/virology , Female , Housing , Humans , Male , Michigan , Respiratory Tract Infections/transmission , Universities
7.
Eur Heart J ; 41(22): 2092-2112, 2020 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-574867

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the daily clinical practice of cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons. Preparedness of health workers and health services is crucial to tackle the enormous challenge posed by SARS-CoV-2 in wards, operating theatres, intensive care units, and interventionist laboratories. This Clinical Review provides an overview of COVID-19 and focuses on relevant aspects on prevention and management for specialists within the cardiovascular field.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Endocarditis/surgery , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Prosthesis-Related Infections/surgery , SARS-CoV-2
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