Small molecule inhibitors of Zika, dengue and other flaviviruses
Currently, broadly-protective antivirals targeting flaviviruses such as Zika, Dengue and West Nile viruses, are not available. Researchers in the laboratory of Dr. Priscilla Yang have identified a group of small molecules, including a prototype compound GNF-2 that exhibits a potent anti-viral activity. As shown in a paper published in Cell Chemical Biology, GNF-2 interferes with viral replication and blocks viral entry by interacting with the dengue glycoprotein E in pre-fusion state. Based on structural similarities between different flaviviruses, we believe these small molecules could be used to eliminate Zika, Dengue and West Nile infections. More recent unpublished work led to identification of several additional small molecules representing novel chemical scaffolds that can serve as a basis for further medicinal chemistry efforts aimed at development of effective broad spectrum anti-virals targeting Zika and other flaviviruses.
Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending