Grants awarded

Development of host-oriented therapeutics against haemorrhagic fever viruses

Grantholder:

Michael Saporito

Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa fever viruses are highly pathogenic – and neglected – tropical diseases. The catastrophic outbreak of Ebola in West Africa in 2014–2015 underscores the need to develop new antiviral therapies.

We are developing first-in-class, small molecule antiviral therapeutics for the treatment of haemorrhagic viruses, including Ebola, Marburg, Junin, Lassa and other severe viruses. These therapeutics interfere with an essential viral-host interaction necessary for efficient virus egress and dissemination. This is predicted to reduce the occurrence of drug-resistant viral mutations. It will also have broad antiviral applicability and will be able to be combined with other antivirals as a prophylactic and for post-exposure treatment. We plan to develop these antivirals through to regulatory approval. 

Targeting a virus-host interaction may lead to a paradigm shift in the search for better antiviral drugs.