Unmet medical need
Pandemics and epidemics of respiratory viruses cause greater morbidity and mortality than all cancer types together. Among these, Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Parainfluenza viruses (PIVs) cause significant economic and health burdens worldwide but there are no drugs to treat these infections, leading to an acute medical need.
Worldwide, it is estimated that RSV is the number one cause of death in children under 6 years old. When children are exposed to RSV for the first time, 25-40% of them show symptoms of bronchiolitis or pneumonia, and 0.5-2% require hospitalization, while it has been estimated that PIV is responsible for up to 11% of all hospitalizations due to respiratory tract infections in children worldwide. RSV and PIV are also severely affecting immunocompromised patients, patients with cardio and pulmonary diseases.
ViRelieve’s Technology Platform
ViRelieve has identified an innovative therapeutic solution to address this unmet medical need. We are exploiting a newly discovered and proprietary technology platform that can be applied to develop therapeutics against a broad range of related viruses.
Viruses such as PIV and RSV but also Nipah, Measles and Mumps use very similar replication mechanisms. Because the maturation of these viruses requires essential viral proteins to specifically interact in order for the virus to replicate during infection, by inhibiting these specific protein-protein interactions during the viral assembly process, we can create effective therapeutics that block viral replication.
Our technology platform targets and interrupts the interaction between the viral phosphoprotein (P) and nucleoprotein (N). We started our research program by demonstrating that inhibiting the P-N interaction during infection of a typical respiratory pathogen, Nipah virus, is a very efficient way to block virus replication. We identified compounds that, when introduced in human cells, can effectively block virus replication, with experimentally demonstrated reduction of the virus titer of up to 7 log units (Yabukarski et al. 2014).
We are currently targeting conserved paramyxovirus protein interactions in hRSV and hPIV involved in viral replications as candidate therapeutic target molecules with high potential. The first commercial product our company is pursuing is an oral or nasal treatment for PIV and RSV infections, as currently there is no adequate therapy.
ViRelieve Therapeutics develops innovative therapeutics to treat human respiratory viral infections.