INX-08189 is an aryl-phosphoramidate of 6-O-methyl-2′-C-methyl guanosine. INX-08189 was highly potent in replicon assays, with a 50% effective concentration of 10 ± 6 nM against hepatitis C genotype 1b at 72 h. The inhibitory effect on viral replication was rapid, with a 50% effective concentration (EC50) of 35 ± 8 nM at 24 h. An intracellular 2′-C-methyl guanosine triphosphate (2′-C-MeGTP) concentration of 2.43 ± 0.42 pmol/106 cells was sufficient to achieve 90% inhibition of viral replication. In vitro resistance studies confirmed that the S282T mutation in the NS5b gene conferred an approximately 10-fold reduction in sensitivity to INX-08189. However, the complete inhibition of S282T mutant replicons still could be achieved with an EC90 of 344 ± 170 nM. Drug combination studies of INX-08189 and ribavirin indicated significant synergy in antiviral potency both in wild-type and S282T-expressing replicons. Genotype 1b replicons could be cleared after 14 days of culture when exposed to as little as 20 nM INX-08189. No evidence of mitochondrial toxicity was observed after 14 days of INX-08189 exposure in both HepG2 and CEM human cell lines. In vivo studies of rats and cynomolgus monkeys demonstrated that 2′-C-MeGTP concentrations in liver equivalent to the EC90 could be attained after a single oral dose of INX-08189. Rat liver 2′-C-MeGTP concentrations were proportional to dose, sustained for greater than 24 h, and correlated with plasma concentrations of the nucleoside metabolite 2′-C-methyl guanosine. The characteristics displayed by INX-08189 support its continued development as a clinical candidate for the treatment of chronic HCV infection
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