FOCUS ON VIRUSES
RNA viruses cause epidemic disease and are responsible for 80% of the viral disease burden worldwide. They are the major contributor to the pool of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. Therefore our concentration is aimed at viruses that have RNA as their genetic material, including:
- FLAVIVIRADAE: Dengue, HCV, West Nile
- MYXOVIRIDAE: Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Influenza A
- CORONAVIRIDAE: SARs-like Viruses
- BUNYAVIRIDAE: Hantaviruses, Rift Valley Fever
- TOGAVIRIDAE: EEEV, WEEV, VEEV
DRIVE will focus on identifying novel antiviral therapies and supporting the development of effective, broadly active antiviral agents for these RNA virus infections.
RNA viruses cause epidemic disease and are responsible for 80% of the viral disease burden worldwide.
UTILIZING A PROVEN APPROACH TO ANTIVIRAL THERAPY
Virally encoded polymerases are critical replication enzymes that are proven targets for successful antiviral therapy (HIV, HBV, HCV, & herpes viruses). All RNA viruses encode an essential RNA directed RNA polymerase (RdRp) that catalyzes the synthesis of viral RNA in a host cell. The existence of extended conserved regions in RdRps supports the possibility of broadly active antiviral drugs. One of our focus areas is nucleoside analogues, designed to act as competitive alternative substrate inhibitors of virally encoded polymerases. Nucleoside/nucleotide analogues have proven to be the backbone of antiviral therapy and DRIVE has extensive experience in this area.
Drugs that are inhibitors of viral polymerases have proven to be the backbone of antiviral therapy.