Mechanistic framework predicts drug-class specific utility of antiretrovirals for HIV prophylaxis.

Duwal, Sulav, Dickinson, Laura ORCID: 0000-0001-5557-9396, Khoo, Saye ORCID: 0000-0002-2769-0967 and von Kleist, Max
(2019) Mechanistic framework predicts drug-class specific utility of antiretrovirals for HIV prophylaxis. PLoS computational biology, 15 (1). e1006740-e1006740.

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Currently, there is no effective vaccine to halt HIV transmission. However, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with the drug combination Truvada can substantially decrease HIV transmission in individuals at risk. Despite its benefits, Truvada-based PrEP is expensive and needs to be taken once-daily, which often leads to inadequate adherence and incomplete protection. These deficits may be overcome by next-generation PrEP regimen, including currently investigated long-acting formulations, or patent-expired drugs. However, poor translatability of animal- and ex vivo/in vitro experiments, and the necessity to conduct long-term (several years) human trials involving considerable sample sizes (N>1000 individuals) are major obstacles to rationalize drug-candidate selection. We developed a prophylaxis modelling tool that mechanistically considers the mode-of-action of all available drugs. We used the tool to screen antivirals for their prophylactic utility and identify lower bound effective concentrations that can guide dose selection in PrEP trials. While in vitro measurable drug potency usually guides PrEP trial design, we found that it may over-predict PrEP potency for all drug classes except reverse transcriptase inhibitors. While most drugs displayed graded concentration-prophylaxis profiles, protease inhibitors tended to switch between none- and complete protection. While several treatment-approved drugs could be ruled out as PrEP candidates based on lack-of-prophylactic efficacy, darunavir, efavirenz, nevirapine, etravirine and rilpivirine could more potently prevent infection than existing PrEP regimen (Truvada). Notably, some drugs from this candidate set are patent-expired and currently neglected for PrEP repurposing. A next step is to further trim this candidate set by ruling out compounds with ominous safety profiles, to assess different administration schemes in silico and to test the remaining candidates in human trials.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans, HIV-1, HIV Infections, Anti-Retroviral Agents, Models, Statistical, Computational Biology, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2019 10:00
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 01:03
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006740
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