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Article

Vivo-Morpholino-Based Antiviral for SARS-CoV-2: Implications for Novel Therapies in the Treatment of Acute COVID-19 Disease

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Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, 1005 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208, USA
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Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, 1005 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208, USA
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Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Physiology, School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, 1005 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208, USA
4
Gene Tools, LLC, 1001 Summerton Way, Philomath, OR 97370, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kenneth Lundstrom and Bart De Geest
Biomedicines 2021, 9(8), 1018; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9081018
Received: 27 June 2021 / Revised: 4 August 2021 / Accepted: 12 August 2021 / Published: 15 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Topic Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Agents)
Therapeutic modalities designed specifically to inhibit COVID-19 infection and replication would limit progressive COVID-19-associated pulmonary disease in infected patients and prevent or limit systemic disease. If effective, antivirals could reduce viral transmission rates by reducing viral burden and allow time for immune clearance. For individuals infected with acute-stage disease, antivirals in support of the existing vaccines could reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. Here, we evaluate MRCV-19, a phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligo with delivery dendrimer (Vivo-Morpholino), to prevent coronavirus infection in a cell culture model. This is a novel antiviral that effectively inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro. By design, MRCV-19 targets the SARS-CoV-2 5’UTR and overlaps the pp1a start site of translation in order to block access of the translation initiation complex to the start. MRCV-19 testing is conducted in a high-throughput, 384-well plate format with a 10-point dose-response curve (common ratio of 2) assayed in duplicate with parallel cytotoxicity evaluations. MRCV-19 was shown to be more effective than hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir in our CPE reduction assay with low toxicity. The clinical translational impact of this study is providing the basis for evaluating MRCV-19 on a large scale in an appropriate infection model for toxicity and systemic high-level inhibition of SARS-CoV-2, which could lead in time to phase I testing in humans. View Full-Text
Keywords: coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; dendrimers; morpholinos; cytotoxicity; MRCV-19 coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; dendrimers; morpholinos; cytotoxicity; MRCV-19
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hildreth, J.E.K.; Moulton, J.D.; Alcendor, D.J. Vivo-Morpholino-Based Antiviral for SARS-CoV-2: Implications for Novel Therapies in the Treatment of Acute COVID-19 Disease. Biomedicines 2021, 9, 1018. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9081018

AMA Style

Hildreth JEK, Moulton JD, Alcendor DJ. Vivo-Morpholino-Based Antiviral for SARS-CoV-2: Implications for Novel Therapies in the Treatment of Acute COVID-19 Disease. Biomedicines. 2021; 9(8):1018. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9081018

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hildreth, James E.K., Jon D. Moulton, and Donald J. Alcendor 2021. "Vivo-Morpholino-Based Antiviral for SARS-CoV-2: Implications for Novel Therapies in the Treatment of Acute COVID-19 Disease" Biomedicines 9, no. 8: 1018. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9081018

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