Small Molecule Inhibitors of HIV Nef Virulence Factor for Treatment of HIV AIDS

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R42GM112516-02
Agency Tracking Number: R42GM112516
Amount: $1,992,210.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 100
Solicitation Number: PA15-270
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-08-31
Small Business Information
3805 OLD EASTON RD, Doylestown, PA, 18902-8400
DUNS: 828761002
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 THOMAS SMITHGALL
 (412) 648-8106
 tsmithga@pitt.edu
Business Contact
 KATHLEEN CZUPICH
Phone: (215) 489-4944
Email: kczupich@artemis-finance.com
Research Institution
 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
 4200 5TH AVE
PITTSBURGH, PA, 15260-0001
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
DESCRIPTION provided by applicant While HIV AIDS can be managed with antiretroviral drugs these agents do not clear the virus and require life long administration Recently we discovered a completely new class of compounds that interfere with the HIV virulence factor called Nef This viral protein is critical to HIV replication in vivo immune escape of HIV infected cells and AIDS progression During the past year we successfully completed Phase I of our STTR project aimed at development of Nef antagonists suitable for clinical testing Working with the Fox Chase Chemical Diversity Center we evaluated analogs of our original diphenylpyrazolodiazene Nef inhibitor some of which display tighter Nef binding while retaining potent antiretroviral activity and improved ADME properties Several analogs prevent Nef mediated downregulation of MHC I on HIV infected CD T cells resulting in activation of autologous anti HIV CD CTLs These data suggest that our Nef antagonists may restore recognition of HIV infected cells by the patientandapos s own immune system as a path to functional cure In this Phase II application we will expand our Nef drug development efforts with the following Specific Aims Aim Perform lead optimization medicinal chemistry Based on SAR developed during Phase I we propose to synthesize new Nef inhibitor analogs to find suitable compounds for in vivo testing in Aim using HIV infected humanized mice Our approach will employ structure based design while considering analog ADMET and PK properties in parallel All analogs will also be tested for Nef binding affinity effects on Nef mediated enhancement of HIV replication and reversal of CD and MHC I downregulation by Nef in HIV infected patient cells Aim Ensure suitable drug properties via in vitro and in vivo ADMET evaluation Up to compounds per year that meet Nef binding and functional criteria Aim will be evaluated using in vitro ADMET assays including microsomal stability CYP A inhibition solubility and plasma protein binding Three to six IV and PO compounds will be evaluated in mouse PK studies with the most promising compounds advancing to in vitro non GLP safety assays These data are essential for choosing the best compounds for in vivo testing in humanized mouse models of HIV AIDS Aim Aim Test the hypothesis that Nef antagonists can suppress HIV replication and T cell loss in a humanized mouse model of AIDS Humanized mice infected with Nef deleted HIV exhibit dramatically lower viral loads and substantially less T cell depletion than those infected with wild type virus The most promising compounds identified in the first two Aims will therefore be administered to humanized mice to monitor effects on HIV replication CD T cell loss and immune system function Successful completion of these goals will provide a comprehensive package to support advanced development safety testing in large animals and advance the project further toward an IND submission for Phase I safety testing in normal volunteers PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE The proposed studies are focused on new approaches to HIV AIDS drug discovery targeting an HIV accessory protein Nef essential for AIDS progression Successful completion of the proposed work will identify small molecules for use as drug candidates that block Nef functions in HIV pathogenesis in animal models and ultimately in man These Nef inhibitors represent lead compounds for future development as a new class of anti HIV therapeutics with the potential to clear HIV infected cells from patients

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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