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Novel Influenza Neuraminidase Inhibitors – Development of Orally Bioavailable Agents with Reduced Propensity for Resistance

  • Project Leaders: Stephen Withers
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $550000
  • Program/Competition: Proof of Concept
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2012
  • Status: Closed

More than one million people die of influenza every year, and another 1.3 billion more are infected, making this project of keen interest to government health regulatory authorities looking to provide alternate treatment strategies for seasonal and pandemic influenza. In partnership with CDRD Ventures, this project aimed to develop new antivirals for influenza strains that are resistant to current therapies.

Efficacy was assessed with clinically relevant Tamiflu sensitive strains. Preliminary results show promising trends for most strains. International patents have been filed.

Through market assessment for the technology, most potential partners showed interest in pursuing vaccine deals as opposed to therapeutic deals. The investigators presented or introduced the technology to over 20 companies, including large pharma and mid-tier companies. Companies contacted include Gilead, Roche, GSK, Biota, Siga, Takeda, Daiichi Sankyo and Versant Ventures. Review of the technology is ongoing with multiple companies.