Rapamycin enhanced efficacy of small-molecule HIV entry inhibitors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43AI078585-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: AI078585
Amount: $293,564.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2007-2
Small Business Information
DUNS: 185576639
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 (443) 543-5010
Business Contact
Phone: (443) 543-5010
Email: meshulam@profectusbiosciences.com
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Newer approaches to the treatment of HIV infection seek to block the entry of the virus into the cell by targeting different proteins engaged in the entry process. Possible targets for entry inhibition include the HIV e nvelope (Env) glycoproteins gp120 and gp41, the cellular receptor CD4, and the chemokine receptors CCR5 and CXCR4. Clinical trials have demonstrated anti-HIV potential of the entry inhibitors. However, they suffer from the same challenges as the other HAAR T drugs - rapid outgrowth of resistant virus and numerous side effects. Recently, cell cycle agents, such as rapamycin that downregulates the CCR5 receptor, were found to synergize with the entry inhibitor T20, one of the two entry inhibitors approved by t he FDA, known also as Fuzeon or Enfuvirtide. Our preliminary experiments further demonstrate that the addition of rapamycin in vitro prevents the emergence of T20 resistant viruses and enhances the susceptibility to T20 of otherwise resistant viruses. We h ave also found that rapamycin synergizes with and enhances the anti-HIV efficiency of TAK-779, a small molecule CCR5 antagonist with potent antiviral activity. These observations suggest that rapamycin may enhance the therapeutic performance of other entry inhibitors such as selzentry, known as maraviroc, which, like TAK-779, targets CCR5. Selzentry has already been approved by the FDA on August 6, 2007 for anti-HIV therapy in combinations with other HAART drugs. The objective of this project, therefore, is to identify those small molecule entry inhibitors that are on the market and in advanced clinical or preclinical studies that show improved anti-HIV efficiency in the presence of rapamycin. We propose to reach the goal via the following 3 aims: Aim 1: Ide ntify which of the selected small molecule entry inhibitors synergize with rapamycin to inhibit viral infections in human PBMCs; Aim 2: Demonstrate that the addition of rapamycin inhibits the outgrowth of inhibitor resistant viruses in vitro; Aim 3: Demons trate that the addition of rapamycin can recover the susceptibility of the inhibitor resistant viruses. Should we identify compounds with the preceding characteristics during this Phase I project, our SBIR Phase II proposal will endeavor to develop an oral rapamycin/entry inhibitor co-formulation for treatment of HIV infection. This document contains proprietary information that Profectus BioSciences requests not be released to persons outside the Government, except for purposes of review and evaluation. PU BLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE Rapamycin (Wyeth, Madison, NJ) is an immunosuppressant drug prescribed for oral use after kidney transplantation. It is a cell cycle agent that downregulates the expression of CCR5 on the surface of activated T cells. In vitro, rapamy cin enhances the efficacy of HIV entry inhibitors: T20 and TAK-779. This observation suggests that rapamycin may also enhance the potential of small molecule entry inhibitors that have already shown reasonable bioavailability. The objective of this project is to identify orally bioavailable entry inhibitors that are on the market, near market or in early clinical studies and that synergize with rapamycin in their anti-HIV efficiency. Such inhibitors will provide opportunities to develop novel orally adminis tered formulations with enhanced antiviral efficiency. Preclinical and clinical development of such combinations will be the subject of follow-on SBIRs.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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