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New drugs targeting influenza virus polymerase

Objective

The 2009 H1N1 pandemic and the ongoing threat of highly pathogenic H5N1 strains have focused attention worldwide on the urgent need for effective anti-influenza drug options when the public is not protected by vaccination. The need is pressing since several circulating strains are resistant to currently stock-piled anti-neuraminidase drugs. In this project, we will exploit our recent advances in the detailed mechanistic understanding of the structure and function of the viral polymerase, the replication machine of the virus, to develop new drug candidates that inhibit viral replication in infected cells. The polymerase is an excellent drug target as it is highly conserved in all influenza A strains, whether of avian, swine or human origin. The project consortium includes 12 academic and SME partners from 6 European countries chosen for their expertise and complementarity. The focused drug design programme will start with already existing patented small molecule hits against two different polymerase active site targets and use structure-based medicinal chemistry expertise to arrive at optimized leads to enter preclinical studies. The aim is to take one preclinical candidate to phase 1 clinical trials, with contingency plans in place to cover setbacks. In parallel, a world-leading network of European academic labs will continue fundamental research on influenza polymerase atomic structure, cellular function and role in inter-species transmission, which will feed back into the drug design programme with enhanced assays for polymerase inhibitors, improved understanding of how the inhibitors work in the cellular context and potential resistance mechanisms, as well as providing new targets for future anti-influenza drug-design. If successful, the project will provide new opportunities to treat both seasonal and pandemic flu and thus can have an enormous impact on world-wide public health and well-being as well as the competitiveness of the European pharmaceutical sector

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/health sciences/public and environmental health
  • /medical and health sciences/health sciences/epidemiology/pandemics
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/medicinal chemistry
  • /medical and health sciences/health sciences/infectious disease/RNA virus/influenza
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/microbiology/virology

Call for proposal

FP7-INFLUENZA-2010
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project

Coordinator

EUROPEAN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LABORATORY
Address
Meyerhofstrasse 1
69117 Heidelberg
Germany
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 991 222
Administrative Contact
Sonja Noss (Mrs.)

Participants (11)

SAVIRA PHARMACEUTICALS GMBH
Austria
EU contribution
€ 1 790 507
Address
Veterinarplatz 1
1210 Wien
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Dirk Classen-Houben (Dr.)
UNIVERSITE JOSEPH FOURIER GRENOBLE 1
France
EU contribution
€ 303 528
Address
Avenue Centrale, Domaine Universitaire 621
38041 Grenoble
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Leslie Hollett (Ms.)
INSTITUT PASTEUR
France
EU contribution
€ 350 000
Address
Rue Du Docteur Roux 25-28
75724 Paris Cedex 15
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Thierry Planchenault (Dr.)
PHILIPPS UNIVERSITAET MARBURG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 163 800
Address
Biegenstrasse 10
35037 Marburg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Christian Veldman (Dr.)
HEINRICH-PETTE INSTITUT LEIBNIZ INSTITUT FUER EXPERIMENTELLE VIROLOGIE
Germany
EU contribution
€ 199 800
Address
Martinistrasse 52
20251 Hamburg
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Nicole Nolting (Dr.)
AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 367 785
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Carlos Manuel Abad Ruiz (Mr.)
PRESTWICK CHEMICAL, INC.
United States
EU contribution
€ 653 190
Address
K Street, Nw, Suite 520 1825
20006 Washington
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Thierry Langer (Prof.)
INTE:LIGAND SOFTWARE-ENTWICKLUNGS-UND CONSULTING GMBH
Austria
EU contribution
€ 178 100
Address
Clemens Maria Hofbauer Gasse 6
2344 Maria Enzersdorf
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Gerhard Wolber (Dr.)
VIROLOGICKY USTAV SLOVENSKEJ AKADEMIE VIED
Slovakia
EU contribution
€ 279 750
Address
Dubravska Cesta 9
84505 Bratislava
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Irena Ginzeryová (Ms.)
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION SA
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 715 075
Address
Inst. Pathology B23 Chu Sart Tilman
4000 Liege
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Patrice Chiap (Dr.)
MEDIZINISCHE UNIVERSITAET WIEN
Austria
EU contribution
€ 6 000
Address
Spitalgasse 23
1090 Wien
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Markus Müller (Prof.)