April 05, 2022
In the search for effective drugs against SARS-CoV-2 infection, there are speed and safety advantages to repurposing existing drugs. This Genome BC funded project aimed to find drug candidates that could be repurposed for COVID-19 either tested alone or combined with other drugs for enhanced efficacy.
This project rigorously developed high-throughput screening assays for evaluating the efficacy of small molecule drugs in combating SARS-CoV-2 infections. At the end of this nine-month project, the team catalyzed the discovery of desperately needed candidate therapeutics for COVID-19 that led to the development of techniques and platforms that support similar work by other active partners. They also leveraged the virology, drug discovery and protein analysis expertise of an interdisciplinary, international team to create a consortium well-positioned to rapidly identify lead therapeutic candidates for emerging pathogens.
An accelerated preview of the article published in Nature by this project describing the identification and characterization of a novel small-molecule compound inhibitor of cellular serine protease TMPRSS2, showing significant antiviral potency against emerging variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome from SARS-CoV-2 is available here.
Photo: Representative image from a 3D volume rendering of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 Delta-infected cells. Hoechst is shown in blue, dsRNA in green, nucleocapsid in red, and actin in cyan. Images captured with a Leica TCS SP8 STED 3× laser scanning confocal microscope.