Development of protease assays and replicons for antiviral studies against FMDV

EUVIRNA ER-3

Project description
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is a highly infectious agent that requires special BSL3 facilities for handling. This hampers the efficient high-throughput screening for replication inhibitors and subsequent drug development. Therefore Aratana Therapeutics aims at developing surrogate models of FMDV that can safely be used in the BSL2 facilities available in the company. Given the phylogenetically close distance between FMDV and either equine rhinitis A virus (ERAV) or the bovine rhinovirus 2 (BRV-2) the two latter viruses are candidates of choice to develop a (BSL2 compatible) surrogate FMDV model. Surrogate models will not only be used in the screening and lead optimization process for developing FMDV antivirals, but also to study the mechanism of action of the molecules identified.
Antivirals identified will be developed by Aratana Therapeutics into powerful drugs that offer an alternative for the culling and destruction strategy currently used to contain outbreaks of FMDV, as exemplified by the recent FMDV epidemics in Japan (300 000 animals culled) and South Korea.

Host institute
Aratana Therapeutics
Leuven, Belgium
Supervisor: Dr. Nesya Goris

Project finished