The project will focus its activities on three priority virus groups, responsible of major human viral diseases for which the development of drugs is considered essential: flaviviridae (Dengue), picornaviridae (enterovirus 71) and paramyxoviridae (RCV and hMPV). On the other hand, exploratory researches will be performed on other virus families that have the potential to cause epidemics, like the arenaviruses group, alphaviruses, bunyaviruses, coronaviruses and noroviruses .
The project will focus its activities on selected medically important RNA viruses for which the development of drugs is considered essential (“Group A: priority viruses” ); other relatively neglected and/or emerging RNA viruses will be explored through careful selection of the most promising targets and antiviral compounds. New antiviral hit compounds will be discovered by state-of-the-art cell culture-based screening, by screening in enzymatic assays for specific viral proteins, and by structure-based drug discovery. The hits identified by these methods will be optimized by medicinal chemistry, guided by the structure of the viral target where available. For the most promising antiviral lead compounds, proof-of-concept will be sought in small animal studies. A pipeline strategy will be employed to progress this work plan, as illustrated in Fig. II, whilst multi-disciplinary workgroups will ensure the proper flow of information, data,exploitation and dissemination from WP1 to WP5. This organisation allows any virus and viral target to enter the pipeline at its current state of knowledge and art.