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A phenotypic screen of the ReFRAME compound library was performed to identify cell-active inhibitors that could be developed as therapeutics for giardiasis. A primary screen against Giardia lamblia GS clone H7 identified 85 cell-active compounds at a hit rate of 0.72%. A cytotoxicity counterscreen against HEK293T cells was carried out to assess hit compound selectivity for further prioritization. Mavelertinib (PF-06747775), a third-generation epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI), was identified as a potential new therapeutic based on indication, activity, and availability after reconfirmation. Mavelertinib has in vitro efficacy against metronidazole-resistant 713-M3 strains. Other EGFR-TKIs screened in follow-up assays exhibited insignificant inhibition of G. lamblia at 5 μM, suggesting that the primary molecular target of mavelertinib may have a different mechanistic binding mode from human EGFR-tyrosine kinase. Mavelertinib, dosed as low as 5 mg/kg of body weight or as high as 50 mg/kg, was efficacious in the acute murine Giardia infection model. These results suggest that mavelertinib merits consideration for repurposing and advancement to giardiasis clinical trials while its analogues are further developed.


Samantha A Michaels, Matthew A Hulverson, Grant R Whitman, Linh T Tran, Ryan Choi, Erkang Fan, Case W McNamara, Melissa S Love, Kayode K Ojo. Repurposing the Kinase Inhibitor Mavelertinib for Giardiasis Therapy. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2022 Jul 19;66(7):e0001722

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PMID: 35703552

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