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Institute of Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases (INNT

Synergistically targeting pyrimidine metabolism and RNA integrity for the treatment of respiratory diseases caused by zoonotic influenza A viruses and henipaviruses


Duration: 12/22 – 11/25

Funding: VW-Stiftung

Our project is designed to prepare us for future pandemics caused by specific groups of viruses. In particular, we are trying to develop novel therapies against influenza pandemics caused by viruses that were transmitted from birds or pigs to humans, thereby causing rapid virus spread among humans. Moreover, we are targeting viruses with similar molecular features that also infect the airways, namely Nipah and Hendra virus. These viruses have caused relatively small outbreaks so far, but are among the deadliest known viruses. For both groups of viruses, we are combining two kinds of drugs. On the one hand, we are using nucleoside analogues, i.e. false components that are incorporated into the viral RNA. On the other hand, we employ drugs to disrupt the cellular synthesis of the natural components of RNA. When combined, these drugs interfere with virus propagation much more strongly than if used alone. We will thus evaluate these drug combinations as a means to prevent future pandemic outbreaks of respiratory viral infections.

Involved INNT scientists::

PD Dr. Anne Balkema-Buschmann

Dr. Sandra Diederich