Translating systems virology data into broad-spectrum antiviral drugs
SysVirDrug is a translational project, aiming to establish a strategy for the development of true “antivirotics” – drugs that, analogously to antibiotics, can be used to treat viral infections caused by a whole group of different viruses. SysVirDrug focuses on positive-strand RNA viruses, a broad class of virus including every-day infections such as the common cold, as well as life-threatening diseases such as hepatitis C, dengue fever and SARS.
As viruses make extensive use of host mechanisms for their own benefit, SysVirDrug focuses on host cell processes as a target for antiviral treatment. The SysVirDrug consortium uses a combination of wetlab experiments, sophisticated bioinformatics approaches and mathematical and computational modeling to identify the most efficient, broadly active anti-viral targets or combinations of targets, and strategies for interfering with these mechanisms to treat the infection. Chemoinformatics approaches are then used to identify suitable drug molecules targeting the identified host cell processes, which are subsequently tested.
Project consortium coordinator: Prof. Lars Kaderali, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
Swiss consortium partner: Prof. Niko Beerenwinkel, ETH Zurich