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      Cardiotoxic Potential of Hydroxychloroquine, Chloroquine and Azithromycin in Adult Human Primary Cardiomyocytes

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          Substantial efforts have been recently committed to develop coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) medications, and Hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with Azithromycin has been promoted as a repurposed treatment. Although these drugs may increase cardiac toxicity risk, cardiomyocyte mechanisms underlying this risk remain poorly understood in humans. Therefore, we evaluated the proarrhythmia risk and inotropic effects of these drugs in the cardiomyocyte contractility-based model of the human heart. We found Hydroxychloroquine to have a low proarrhythmia risk, whereas Chloroquine and Azithromycin were associated with high risk. Hydroxychloroquine proarrhythmia risk changed to high with low level of K +, whereas high level of Mg 2+ protected against proarrhythmic effect of high Hydroxychloroquine concentrations. Moreover, therapeutic concentration of Hydroxychloroquine caused no enhancement of elevated temperature-induced proarrhythmia. Polytherapy of Hydroxychloroquine plus Azithromycin and sequential application of these drugs were also found to influence proarrhythmia risk categorization. Hydroxychloroquine proarrhythmia risk changed to high when combined with Azithromycin at therapeutic concentration. However, Hydroxychloroquine at therapeutic concentration impacted the cardiac safety profile of Azithromycin and its proarrhythmia risk only at concentrations above therapeutic level. We also report that Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine, but not Azithromycin, decreased contractility while exhibiting multi-ion channel block features, and Hydroxychloroquine’s contractility effect was abolished by Azithromycin. Thus, this study has the potential to inform clinical studies evaluating repurposed therapies, including those in the COVID-19 context. Additionally, it demonstrates the translational value of the human cardiomyocyte contractility-based model as a key early discovery path to inform decisions on novel therapies for COVID-19, malaria, and inflammatory diseases.

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          Most cited references 85

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          Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China

          In December 2019, novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)-infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, China. The number of cases has increased rapidly but information on the clinical characteristics of affected patients is limited.
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            Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial

            Background Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been found to be efficient on SARS-CoV-2, and reported to be efficient in Chinese COV-19 patients. We evaluate the role of hydroxychloroquine on respiratory viral loads. Patients and methods French Confirmed COVID-19 patients were included in a single arm protocol from early March to March 16th, to receive 600mg of hydroxychloroquine daily and their viral load in nasopharyngeal swabs was tested daily in a hospital setting. Depending on their clinical presentation, azithromycin was added to the treatment. Untreated patients from another center and cases refusing the protocol were included as negative controls. Presence and absence of virus at Day6-post inclusion was considered the end point. Results Six patients were asymptomatic, 22 had upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and eight had lower respiratory tract infection symptoms. Twenty cases were treated in this study and showed a significant reduction of the viral carriage at D6-post inclusion compared to controls, and much lower average carrying duration than reported of untreated patients in the literature. Azithromycin added to hydroxychloroquine was significantly more efficient for virus elimination. Conclusion Despite its small sample size our survey shows that hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin.
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              A SARS-CoV-2 Protein Interaction Map Reveals Targets for Drug-Repurposing

              SUMMARY The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 respiratory disease, has infected over 2.3 million people, killed over 160,000, and caused worldwide social and economic disruption 1,2 . There are currently no antiviral drugs with proven clinical efficacy, nor are there vaccines for its prevention, and these efforts are hampered by limited knowledge of the molecular details of SARS-CoV-2 infection. To address this, we cloned, tagged and expressed 26 of the 29 SARS-CoV-2 proteins in human cells and identified the human proteins physically associated with each using affinity-purification mass spectrometry (AP-MS), identifying 332 high-confidence SARS-CoV-2-human protein-protein interactions (PPIs). Among these, we identify 66 druggable human proteins or host factors targeted by 69 compounds (29 FDA-approved drugs, 12 drugs in clinical trials, and 28 preclinical compounds). Screening a subset of these in multiple viral assays identified two sets of pharmacological agents that displayed antiviral activity: inhibitors of mRNA translation and predicted regulators of the Sigma1 and Sigma2 receptors. Further studies of these host factor targeting agents, including their combination with drugs that directly target viral enzymes, could lead to a therapeutic regimen to treat COVID-19.

                Author and article information

                Toxicol Sci
                Toxicol Sci
                Toxicological Sciences
                Oxford University Press
                23 January 2021
                [1 ] Chief Medical Officer and Patient Safety, Novartis AG , Basel, Switzerland
                [2 ] Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Preclinical Safety , Basel, Switzerland
                [3 ] AnaBios Corporation , San Diego, California 92109, USA
                [4 ] Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Preclinical Secondary Pharmacology , Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
                Author notes
                To whom correspondence should be addressed at Novartis AG, Chief Medical Officer and Patient Safety, Basel, Switzerland. E-mail: pierre.jordaan@ 123456novartis.com and AnaBios Corporation, 3030 Bunker Hill Street, Suite 312, San Diego, CA 92109.E-mail: najah.abigerges@ 123456anabios.com .
                © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

                This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)

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                Pages: 13
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