Inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease

This project aims to advance the development of specific antiviral drugs targeting SARS-CoV-2 infections.

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The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic is threatening global health. It is unclear if and when a vaccine will become available. This project aims to advance the development of specific antiviral drugs targeting SARS-CoV-2 infections. The replication cycle of SARS-CoV-2 in the human host cell has an Achilles heel, the coronavirus main protease. Proteases are key enzymes of replication for many viruses and are considered promising drug targets. Inhibiting their function stalls the production of other viral proteins in the cells and thus prevents the virus from replicating. In the past, this strategy has led to approved drugs against chronic viral infectious diseases such as HIV or hepatitis C, where protease inhibitors are important therapeutics. We have established a coronavirus main protease inhibition assay in our laboratory, allowing us to identify new drug candidates. We had previous success with inhibitors targeting similar enzymes of Zika, dengue, and other viruses and leverage this expertise to explore new lead compounds targeting the SARS-CoV-2 main protease.

Inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease
Inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease