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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Antiviral Activity and Mode of Action of TMC647078, a Novel Nucleoside Inhibitor of the Hepatitis C Virus NS5B Polymerase

Berke, Jan Martin; Vijgen, Leen; Lachau-Durand, Sophie; Powdrill, Megan H; Rawe, Svea; Sjuvarsson, Elena; Eriksson, Staffan; Goette, Matthias; Fransen, Els; Dehertogh, Pascale; Van den Eynde, Christel; Leclercq, Laurent; Jonckers, Tim H. M; Raboisson, Pierre; Nilsson, Magnus; Samuelsson, Bertil; Rosenquist, Åsa; Fanning, Gregory C.; Lin, Tse-I


Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major global health burden and is associated with an increased risk of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Current therapy for HCV infection has limited efficacy, particularly against genotype 1 virus, and is hampered by a range of adverse effects. Therefore, there is a clear unmet medical need for efficacious and safe direct antiviral drugs for use in combination with current treatments to increase cure rates and shorten treatment times. The broad genotypic coverage achievable with nucleosides or nucleotides and the high genetic barrier to resistance of these compounds observed in vitro and in vivo suggest that this class of inhibitors could be a valuable component of future therapeutic regimens. Here, we report the in vitro inhibitory activity and mode of action of 2'-deoxy-2'-spirocyclopropylcytidine (TMC647078), a novel and potent nucleoside inhibitor of the HCV NS5B RNA-dependent RNA polymerase that causes chain termination of the nascent HCV RNA chain. In vitro combination studies with a protease inhibitor resulted in additive efficacy in the suppression of HCV RNA replication, highlighting the potential for the combination of these two classes in the treatment of chronic HCV infection. No cytotoxic effects were observed in various cell lines. Biochemical studies indicated that TMC647078 is phosphorylated mainly by deoxycytidine kinase (dCK) without inhibiting the phosphorylation of the natural substrate, and high levels of triphosphate were observed in Huh7 cells and in primary hepatocytes in vitro. TMC647078 is a potent novel nucleoside inhibitor of HCV replication with a promising in vitro virology and biology profile.

Published in

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
2011, volume: 55, number: 8, pages: 3812-3820

Authors' information

Berke, Jan Martin
Vijgen, Leen
Lachau-Durand, Sophie
Powdrill, Megan H
Rawe, Svea
Sjuvarsson, Elena
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (AFB)
Goette, Matthias
Fransen, Els
Dehertogh, Pascale
Van den Eynde, Christel
Leclercq, Laurent
Jonckers, Tim H. M
Raboisson, Pierre
Medivir AB
Samuelsson, Bertil
Medivir AB
Rosenquist, Åsa
Fanning, Gregory C.
Lin, Tse-I

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

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