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Viral Kinetics Model of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Informs Drug Discovery, Clinical Dose, and Regimen Selection.

Claas, Allison, Lee, Meelim, Huang, Pai-Hsi, Knutson, CHARLIE, Bullara, Dom, Schoeberl, Birgit and Gaudet, Suzanne (2024) Viral Kinetics Model of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Informs Drug Discovery, Clinical Dose, and Regimen Selection. Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. ISSN 1532-6535


Quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) has been an important tool to project safety and efficacy of novel or repurposed therapies for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Here, we present a QSP modeling framework to predict response to antiviral therapeutics with three mechanisms of action (MoA): cell entry inhibitors, anti-replicatives, and neutralizing biologics. We parameterized three distinct model structures describing virus-host interaction by fitting to published viral kinetics data of untreated COVID-19 patients. The models were used to test theoretical behaviors and map therapeutic design criteria of the different MoAs, identifying the most rapid and robust antiviral activity from neutralizing biologic and anti-replicative MoAs. We found good agreement between model predictions and clinical viral load reduction observed with anti-replicative nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid®) and neutralizing biologics bamlanivimab and casirivimab/imdevimab (REGEN-COV®), building confidence in the modeling framework to inform a dose selection. Finally, the model was applied to predict antiviral response with ensovibep, a novel DARPin therapeutic designed as a neutralizing biologic. We developed a new in silico measure of antiviral activity, area under the curve (AUC) of free spike protein concentration, as a metric with larger dynamic range than viral load reduction. By benchmarking to bamlanivimab predictions, we justified dose levels of 75, 225, and 600 mg ensovibep to be administered intravenously in a Phase 2 clinical investigation. Upon trial completion, we found model predictions to be in good agreement with the observed patient data. These results demonstrate the utility of this modeling framework to guide the development of novel antiviral therapeutics.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 14 May 2024 00:45
Last Modified: 14 May 2024 00:45