Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26593978
Antiviral Res. 2016 Jan;125:58-62
There is imperious need for efficient therapies against ubiquitous and life-threatening respiratory viruses, foremost among them being the human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV). Several research groups who performed functional screens for broad-spectrum antivirals identified compounds targeting the de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway. Despite their strong antiviral activity in vitro, whether such antimetabolites are effective in vivo remains highly controversial. Here, we evaluated two potent pyrimidine biosynthesis inhibitors developed in our laboratory, IPPA17-A04 and GAC50, in a model of mild hRSV-infection in cynomolgus macaques. In this model, hRSV replication is restricted to the epithelium of the upper respiratory tract, and is compatible with a topical treatment by intranasal sprays. The local administration of palivizumab, a neutralizing anti-hRSV antibody used in clinics, significantly reduced virus replication. In contrast, pyrimidine biosynthesis inhibitors did not show any inhibitory effect on hRSV growth when delivered topically as experimented in our model. Our results should help to better define the potential applications of this class of antimetabolites in the treatment of viral infections.