Discovery (Lead Identification)
The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide public health crisis with over 440 million confirmed cases and 6.0 million deaths as of March 2022. COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). While there are several vaccines available for COVID-19, there are few therapeutics available that specifically target SARS-CoV-2. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is less understood than SARS-CoV-2. MERS-CoV patients have a 65% long-term survival rate, according the World Health Organization (WHO).
Researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development discovered that PIKfyve phosphatidyl linositol kinase inhibitors exhibit therapeutic potential in preventing infection of mammalian cells by pathogenic coronaviruses. It does so by disrupting membrane trafficking to treat coronavirus infection and replication. These compounds are effective at concentrations 100-1000X less than those toxic to uninfected cells. The technology is for use in treating coronavirus infections in humans, particularly infections caused by SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV or MER-CoV.
Researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development are highly motivated in seeking research co-development partners and/or licensees to further develop and commercialize PIKfyve phosphatidyl linositol kinase inhibitors for the treatment of pathogenic coronaviruses. An ideal partner would enter into both a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) and an exclusive license agreement towards commercialization of this technology.