Special Issue "Nanoparticulate Delivery Systems for Antiviral Drugs"

A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247). This special issue belongs to the section "Pharmaceutical Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 2707

Special Issue Editors

School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
Interests: nanoparticles; drug delivery systems; hydrogels; cell-membrane coating
Institute of Molecular Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
Interests: immunotherapy; antiviral therapy; antitumoral therapy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the great demand for effective antiviral therapy into focus. Antiviral drugs are extensively used to combat viral infections, mainly through targeting the common stages of the viral life cycle, including entry (inhibitors of host proteins or viral surface submission), biosynthesis (inhibitors of nucleic acid polymerases or integrases), assembly (inhibitors of proteases), and release (inhibitors of neuraminidases). However, the delivery of antiviral drugs, especially small molecules and antibodies, is largely confronted with some challenges, notably in stability, off-target accumulation and intracellular delivery requirements. Remarkably, nanoparticulate delivery systems have been developed to overcome these limitations thanks to their small size and unique physicochemical and biological properties. Various nanostructures, including extracellular vesicles, liposomes, dendrimers, polymers, silicon or carbon materials, nanogels, and magnetic nanoparticles, have been applied as carriers in antiviral drug delivery. Compared with traditional treatments, these nanoscale carriers largely strengthen the long-term circulation, local penetration, microenvironment targeting, and controlled release of antiviral drugs. Furthermore, the size, shape, charge, and surface modification of nanoparticles determine the fate of antiviral drugs in body. This Special Issue of Pharmaceuticals aims to assemble the recent developments in the field of nanoparticulate delivery systems for antiviral drugs. Contributions can be submitted in the form of original or review articles concerning the latest advances. The considered papers should include, but are not limited to, the following aspects: Development of methods for the preparation of nanoparticulate delivery systems for antiviral drugs. Evaluation of the biochemical or biophysical properties of antiviral drugs. Modification of nanoparticulate material for better performance. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of nanoparticulates as antiviral drug delivery systems. Related mechanisms of nanoparticulate-based antiviral drug delivery systems. Diagnostic, therapeutic or clinical applications of nanoparticulate-based antiviral drug delivery systems for different viral infections.

Dr. Yan Pang
Dr. Lu Wang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmaceuticals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • nanoparticles
  • nanocarriers
  • biomedical applications
  • antiviral drug
  • targeted delivery
  • controlled release
  • virus infection

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:


26 pages, 940 KiB  
Molnupiravir, Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir, or Sotrovimab for High-Risk COVID-19 Patients Infected by the Omicron Variant: Hospitalization, Mortality, and Time until Negative Swab Test in Real Life
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(5), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16050721 - 09 May 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2430
Background. Several drugs which are easy to administer in outpatient settings have been authorized and endorsed for high-risk COVID-19 patients with mild–moderate disease to prevent hospital admission and death, complementing COVID-19 vaccines. However, the evidence on the efficacy of COVID-19 antivirals during [...] Read more.
Background. Several drugs which are easy to administer in outpatient settings have been authorized and endorsed for high-risk COVID-19 patients with mild–moderate disease to prevent hospital admission and death, complementing COVID-19 vaccines. However, the evidence on the efficacy of COVID-19 antivirals during the Omicron wave is scanty or conflicting. Methods. This retrospective controlled study investigated the efficacy of Molnupiravir or Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir (Paxlovid®) or Sotrovimab against standard of care (controls) on three different endpoints among 386 high-risk COVID-19 outpatients: hospital admission at 30 days; death at 30 days; and time between COVID-19 diagnosis and first negative swab test result. Multivariable logistic regression was employed to investigate the determinants of hospitalization due to COVID-19-associated pneumonia, whereas time to first negative swab test result was investigated by means of multinomial logistic analysis as well as Cox regression analysis. Results. Only 11 patients (overall rate of 2.8%) developed severe COVID-19-associated pneumonia requiring admission to hospital: 8 controls (7.2%); 2 patients on Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir (2.0%); and 1 on Sotrovimab (1.8%). No patient on Molnupiravir was institutionalized. Compared to controls, hospitalization was less likely for patients on Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir (aOR = 0.16; 95% CI: 0.03; 0.89) or Molnupiravir (omitted estimate); drug efficacy was 84% for Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir against 100% for Molnupiravir. Only two patients died of COVID-19 (rate of 0.5%), both were controls, one (a woman aged 96 years) was unvaccinated and the other (a woman aged 72 years) had adequate vaccination status. At Cox regression analysis, the negativization rate was significantly higher in patients treated with both antivirals—Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir (aHR = 1.68; 95% CI: 1.25; 2.26) or Molnupiravir (aHR = 1.45; 95% CI: 1.08; 1.94). However, COVID-19 vaccination with three (aHR = 2.03; 95% CI: 1.51; 2.73) or four (aHR = 2.48; 95% CI: 1.32; 4.68) doses had a slightly stronger effect size on viral clearance. In contrast, the negativization rate reduced significantly in patients who were immune-depressed (aHR = 0.70; 95% CI: 0.52; 0.93) or those with a Charlson index ≥5 (aHR = 0.63; 0.41; 0.95) or those who had started the respective treatment course 3+ days after COVID-19 diagnosis (aOR = 0.56; 95% CI: 0.38; 0.82). Likewise, at internal analysis (excluding patients on standard of care), patients on Molnupiravir (aHR = 1.74; 95% CI: 1.21; 2.50) or Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir (aHR = 1.96; 95% CI: 1.32; 2.93) were more likely to turn negative earlier than those on Sotrovimab (reference category). Nonetheless, three (aHR = 1.91; 95% CI: 1.33; 2.74) or four (aHR = 2.20; 95% CI: 1.06; 4.59) doses of COVID-19 vaccine were again associated with a faster negativization rate. Again, the negativization rate was significantly lower if treatment started 3+ days after COVID-19 diagnosis (aHR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.32; 0.92). Conclusions. Molnupiravir, Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir, and Sotrovimab were all effective in preventing hospital admission and/or mortality attributable to COVID-19. However, hospitalizations also decreased with higher number of doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Although they are effective against severe disease and mortality, the prescription of COVID-19 antivirals should be carefully scrutinized by double opinion, not only to contain health care costs but also to reduce the risk of generating resistant SARS-CoV-2 strains. Only 64.7% of patients were in fact immunized with 3+ doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the present study. High-risk patients should prioritize COVID-19 vaccination, which is a more cost-effective approach than antivirals against severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. Likewise, although both antivirals, especially Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir, were more likely than standard of care and Sotrovimab to reduce viral shedding time (VST) in high-risk SARS-CoV-2 patients, vaccination had an independent and stronger effect on viral clearance. However, the effect of antivirals or COVID-19 vaccination on VST should be considered a secondary benefit. Indeed, recommending Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir in order to control VST in high-risk COVID-19 patients is rather questionable since other cheap, large spectrum and harmless nasal disinfectants such as hypertonic saline solutions are available on the market with proven efficacy in containing VST. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticulate Delivery Systems for Antiviral Drugs)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop