Neurotoxicity of an Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Transcript Inhibitor in 13-Week Rat and Monkey Studies


Toxicological Sciences, 186(2), 298–308


Lake, A. D., Holsapple, K., McDonnell, T., Arezzo, J. C., Ramirez, R., Gamelin, L., Yu, M., Glatt, D., Dick, R., Xie, X., Choy, R., Cheng, G., Tay, C. H., Chester, A., Kato, D., & Burns-Naas, L. A.



The nonclinical safety profile of GS-8873, a hepatitis B virus RNA transcript inhibitor was evaluated in rat and monkey 13-week toxicity studies with 8-week recovery phases. Vehicle or GS-8873 was dosed orally for 13 weeks at 2, 6, 20, and 60 mg/kg/day to Wistar Han rats and at 0.5, 1.5, 3, and 6 mg/kg/day to cynomolgus monkeys. In vitro and in vivo screening results from an analog discovered prior to GS-8873 informed the 13-week toxicology study designs. Neuroelectrophysiology and neurobehavioral evaluations were included at weeks 4 and 13 of the dosing and recovery phases for GS-8873. No adverse neurobehavioral effects were observed. Significant nerve conduction velocity (NCV) decreases and latency increases occurred at the high doses after 4 weeks of dosing. By week 13, dose-responsive NCV reductions and latency increases worsened across all dose groups compared with controls. Some reversal occurred 8 weeks after the last dose administered, but not to vehicle control levels. A minimal, axonal degeneration was observed in rat spinal and peripheral nerves across dose groups compared with controls. No monkey nervous system microscopic findings were observed. No-observed-adverse-effect-levels could not be determined for either species due to the neuroelectrophysiology findings and development was halted in the interest of safety. A retrospective risk assessment approach utilizing benchmark dose (BMD) modeling contributed 13-week NCV BMDL estimates (lower limits of the 95% confidence interval) in lieu of no-observed-adverse-effect-levels. The best-fitted models extrapolated NCV BMDLs for the rat caudal and monkey sural nerve at 0.3 and 0.1 mg/kg/day, respectively.

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