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W21-018: Determining the clinical efficacy and safety of remdesivir for the treatment of naturally occurring feline infectious peritonitis

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal coronaviral disease that affects cats around the world. Despite significant advances in research into treatment of FIP with drugs like GS-4415241,2 and 3C-like protease inhibitor GC3763 showing great promise, both remain years away from being registered for veterinary use. The use of unregistered and unregulated black-market versions of these drugs has increased enormously over the last 2 years which is illegal and potentially unsafe, making veterinarians and owners liable to financial and/or professional prosecution in many jurisdictions globally. Remdesivir (GS-5734) is closely related to GS-441524,4 the drug which was so successful in treating cats with natural occurring and laboratory induced FIP.1,2 Remdesivir has has been approved in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in COVID-19 in adults and children. Through well executed public health orders, Australia has all but eradicated COVID-19 and has had little use for its remdesivir. This makes it the perfect place to analyze the clinical outcomes of remdesivir use in cats with naturally occurring FIP. Although obvious similarities exist between remdesivir and the closely related GS-441524, there have been no formal clinical trials performed specifically to study the clinical response and blood changes that could guide safety and duration of therapy in cats. This investigation will determine the therapeutic benefit, survival rate and safety of remdesivir in improving the well-being and longevity in cats with naturally occurring FIP.

This proposed project builds on the expertise and resources utilized in W16-023 (Determination of mefloquine’s intrinsic clearance by feline microsomes, as a first step to establish its potential to inhibit FIPV infection in the cat), W19-027 (Determining the pharmacokinetic profile of mefloquine in clinically normal cats as a preliminary in-vivo study towards a potential treatment for Feline Infectious Peritonitis) and current grant (W20-005 Determining the clinical efficacy of mefloquine for treatment of naturally occurring feline infectious peritonitis, stage 1) in terms of study design and clinical trials.

Grant ID: W21-018

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2021

Amount awarded: $29,100

Investigator: Professor Jacqueline Norris; Dr Sally Coggins; Associate Professor Mary Thompson; University of Sydney