ANTIVIRAL DRUGS

We develop Proprietary Antiviral Drugs

Coronavirus Treatment in Development

  • On May 22, 2020, we filed a patent application in the United States for a new treatment for Coronavirus infections. Our patent application covers composition subject matter pertaining to small molecules for inhibition of the Coronavirus main protease (Mpro), an enzyme that is essential for viral replication.

  • In August, 2020, we completed the synthesis of four different potential inhibitors of Coronavirus protease. These compounds are based on the technology described in our patent application filed on May 22, 2020.

  • In September, 2020, we completed the screening of our four compounds and subsequently identified a lead Anti-Coronavirus drug candidate (SBFM-PL4).  The screening which pinpointed the lead compound was performed at the University of Georgia, College of Pharmacy under the leadership of Dr. Scott D. Pegan, Director of the Center for Drug Discovery and Interim Associate Head of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences.

  • In October 2020, we expanded our collaboration with Dr. Scott Pegan by entering into a research agreement with the University of Georgia to further develop our Anti-Coronavirus lead compound, SBFM-PL4.  Together, we will proceed to conduct the in vitro studies followed by cell culture assays and assessment in Coronavirus infected mice before entering human clinical trials.

Coronavirus, a highly aggressive pathogen!

Viruses carry minimal genetic information as they rely, for the most part, on host cellular machinery to multiply. Coronavirus has a positive sense RNA genome consisting of approximately 30,000 nucleotides, a size that places Coronavirus among the larger sized viruses. A positive-sense RNA genome is effectively a messenger RNA which allows the virus to express its genes immediately upon gaining entry into the host cell without the need for any prior replication or transcription steps, as is the case with negative-sense RNA or DNA viruses. This is part of what makes Coronavirus a highly aggressive pathogen. Many of the causative agents of serious human diseases are positive-sense RNA viruses, including Hepatitis C, Zeka, Polio, West Nile, Dengue, Cardiovirus, and many others. Some positive-sense RNA viruses, such as the rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, are less clinically serious, but they are responsible for widespread morbidity on a yearly basis.

SARS-CoV-2

The initial genome expression products of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, are two large polyproteins, referred to as pp1a and pp1ab. These two polyproteins are cleaved at 13 specific sites by the main Coronavirus virus encoded protease (Mpro or 3CLpro) to generate a number of mature viral proteins essential for viral replication. Mpro represents an attractive anti-viral drug development target as it plays a central role in the early stages of viral replication. The crystal structure of Mpro shows the presence of an active site Cysteine (Cys145) and a coordinated active site Histidine (His41), both of which are essential for the enzyme’s proteolytic activity.