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Development of ST-246® for Treatment of Poxvirus Infections

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Author(s): Robert Jordan | Janet M. Leeds | Shanthakumar Tyavanagimatt | Dennis E. Hruby

Journal: Viruses
ISSN 1999-4915

Volume: 2;
Issue: 11;
Start page: 2409;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Smallpox | ST-246 | Tecovirimat | orthopoxvirus | p37 | egress inhibitor | antiviral drug

ABSTRACT
ST-246 (Tecovirimat) is a small synthetic antiviral compound being developed to treat pathogenic orthopoxvirus infections of humans. The compound was discovered as part of a high throughput screen designed to identify inhibitors of vaccinia virus-induced cytopathic effects. The antiviral activity is specific for orthopoxviruses and the compound does not inhibit the replication of other RNA- and DNA-containing viruses or inhibit cell proliferation at concentrations of compound that are antiviral. ST-246 targets vaccinia virus p37, a viral protein required for envelopment and secretion of extracellular forms of virus. The compound is orally bioavailable and protects multiple animal species from lethal orthopoxvirus challenge. Preclinical safety pharmacology studies in mice and non-human primates indicate that ST-246 is readily absorbed by the oral route and well tolerated with the no observable adverse effect level (NOAEL) in mice measured at 2000 mg/kg and the no observable effect level (NOEL) in non-human primates measured at 300 mg/kg. Drug substance and drug product processes have been developed and commercial scale batches have been produced using Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP). Human phase I clinical trials have shown that ST-246 is safe and well tolerated in healthy human volunteers. Based on the results of the clinical evaluation, once a day dosing should provide plasma drug exposure in the range predicted to be antiviral based on data from efficacy studies in animal models of orthopoxvirus disease. These data support the use of ST-246 as a therapeutic to treat pathogenic orthopoxvirus infections of humans.

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