Safety, tolerability of ES16001, a novel varicella zoster virus reactivation inhibitor, in healthy adults

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Issue Date
European Journal of Medical Research. 2021 Aug 12;26(1):92
Elaeocarpus sylvestrisES16001Safety and tolerabilityVaricella zoster virus
Herpes zoster (HZ), or shingles, is a clinical syndrome resulting from the reactivation of latent varicella zoster virus (VZV) within the sensory ganglia. We evaluated the safety and tolerability of ES16001 (ethanol extract of Elaeocarpus sylvestris var. ellipticus), a novel inhibitor of varicella zoster virus reactivation in healthy adults.

Single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose (SAD and MAD, respectively) studies were conducted in 20- to 45-year-old healthy adults without chronic disease. In the SAD study (n = 32), subjects randomly received a single oral dose of 240, 480, 960, or 1440 mg ES16001 or a placebo. In the MAD study (n = 16), subjects randomly received once daily doses of 480 or 960 mg ES16001 or a placebo for 5 days. The safety and tolerability of the drug were evaluated by monitoring participants treatment emergent adverse events (TEAEs) and vital signs, electrocardiograms (ECGs), physical examinations, and clinical laboratory tests.

In the SAD study, 11 adverse reactions were seen in 5 subjects, and in the MAD study, 8 adverse reactions were seen in 6 subjects. All adverse reactions were mild, and no serious adverse reactions occurred. The most common adverse reaction was an increase in alanine aminotransferase (ALT), but all test values were in the clinically non-significant range, and their clinical significance was judged to be small considering the fact that most of the test values returned to normal immediately after the end of drug administration.

ES16001 has good safety and tolerability when administered both once and repeatedly to healthy subjects. Further research is needed to identify any possible drug-induced hepatotoxicity, which appears infrequently. Our findings provide a rationale for further clinical investigations of ES16001 for the prevention of HZ.
Trial registration: CRIS, KCT0006066. Registered 7 April 2021—Retrospectively registered,
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