Principal investigator Johan Neyts, Ph.D., professor of virology, and his scientific staff at the Rega Institute, together with the CD3 team, have focused for many years on discovering novel antiviral strategies against a number of virus families. In this collaboration, Johan Neyts’ research group and CD3 will join forces with Aligos, whose team has experience in antiviral drug discovery, development and viral protease inhibitor chemistry. Their combined objective is to develop a therapeutic candidate designed to target the SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as other coronavirus infections.
“The Rega Institute together with CD3 was a natural and complementary fit for this collaborative effort, with their longstanding track record of developing effective antiviral products against a number of viruses,” said Aligos president Leonid Beigelman, Ph.D. “The teams agreed on the specific coronavirus protease as a promising therapeutic target, which is essential in the viral life cycle and conserved among viruses in the coronavirus family, meaning that a candidate that inhibits this target may also serve as a therapeutic in potential future coronavirus epidemics.”
“Besides the urgent need for treatment options to fight the current SARS-CoV-2 virus,” said professor Neyts, “it is clear that there is also an important need for preparedness for the next coronavirus outbreak. A pan-coronavirus antiviral is the best and only approach to be able to respond quickly to any new emerging coronavirus in the future and avoid large outbreaks that may lead to epidemics or a pandemic.”
“We are delighted to enter into this collaboration aiming to deliver a new drug against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses,” said Patrick Chaltin, managing director of CD3. “The SARS-CoV-2 crisis demands the implementation of a strong integrated approach combining and leveraging world leading academic virology expertise and our early drug discovery capabilities with an exceptionally strong and committed biotech partner like Aligos.”