In Vitro and In Vivo Antischistosomal Activity Profiling and Pharmacokinetics of Ozonide Carboxylic Acids

Stefan Biendl, Cécile Häberli, Gong Chen, Wen Wang, Longjin Zhong, Jessica Saunders, Thao Pham, Xiaofang Wang, Jianbo Wu, Susan A. Charman, Jonathan L. Vennerstrom, Jennifer Keiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Praziquantel, the only drug in clinical use for the treatment and control of schistosomiasis, is inactive against developing infections. Ozonides are synthetic peroxide derivatives inspired by the naturally occurring artemisinin and show particularly promising activity against juvenile schistosomes. We conducted an in-depth characterization of the in vitro and in vivo antischistosomal activity and pharmacokinetics of lead ozonide carboxylic acid OZ418 and four of its active analogs. In vitro, the ozonides featured rapid and consistent activity against schistosomula and adult schistosomes at double-digit micromolar EC50 values. Potency did not vary considerably between Schistosoma spp. The zwitterionic OZ740 and OZ772 were more active in vivo compared to their non-amphoteric carboxylic acids OZ418 and OZ748, despite their much lower systemic plasma exposure (AUC). The most active compound in vivo was ethyl ester OZ780, which was rapidly transformed to its parent zwitterion OZ740 and achieved ED50 values of 35 ± 2.4 and 29 ± 2.4 mg/kg against adult and juvenile Schistosoma mansoni, respectively. Ozonide carboxylic acids represent promising candidates for further optimization and development due to their good efficacy against both life stages together with their broad activity range against all relevant parasite species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-652
Number of pages10
JournalACS infectious diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 10 2023


  • Schistosoma
  • anthelminthics
  • drug discovery
  • ozonides
  • pharmacokinetics
  • schistosomiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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