January 12 2016
Effecta Pharma announces that the European Lead Factory (ELF) has commenced a drug screening campaign for one of Effecta’s Dengue viral targets.
“We are excited we can continue our initial collaboration with the ELF and its European Screening Centre researchers in Oss, Oxford and Newhouse, which has yielded a screenable assay for one of the critical Dengue virus proteins. Having ELF as part of our concerted effort to generate preclinical candidates for Dengue is welcome support for Effecta and the patients suffering from this disease”, Effecta’s Directors Helmuth van Es and Paul Edwards said.
Dengue is one of the most important mosquito-borne diseases affecting humans and an important tropical infectious disease. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US lists the causative agent, dengue virus, or DENV ― of which there are four serotypes: 1 to 4 ― as a “category A” priority bio-threat pathogen. Approximately one third of the world’s population is at risk of infection ― which occurs most frequently in children less than 15 years of age. The spread of Dengue virus in sub-tropical and tropical regions of the world has occurred over just a few decades, due to globalisation and a failure to control the primary vector Aedes aegyptii. As Ae. Albopictus, a secondary DENV vector, is spreading to cooler climates the disease is spreading further. A recent 2014 outbreak in Portugal underlines this concern. There are currently no marketed therapeutics for DENV infection; thus, there is a real need for an effective and safe treatment.
The aim of Effecta’s dengue drug discovery programme is to identify safe, effective and ideally pan-serotype inhibitors of the identified disease-modifying protein, to be used for the treatment of dengue fever; inhibitors that, ideally, also allow for the possibility of combination therapy with other classes of dengue antiviral drugs. Effecta plans to progress its programmes towards clinical Proof of Concept. The ELF support and its high quality compound library employed for HTS will allow Effecta Pharma to expand its Drug Discovery efforts for Dengue and gives an important boost to tackling this viral disease. Beyond the HTS screening, once a so-called Qualified Hit List has been generated, these chemical starting points will be used for lead identification and optimisation, ultimately resulting in preclinical candidate drugs to be tested in a clinical Proof of Concept study in patients.
About Effecta Pharma Limited
Effecta Pharma Limited (http://effectapharma.com) is a privately held, UK-based biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel medicines to treat flaviviral diseases like Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika. Initially focussing on small molecule antivirals for dengue, including host cell targets, its pipeline consists of 3 early stage programmes for Dengue, along with programmes for other indications. Effecta currently operates semi-virtually and has an experienced management team and a seasoned team of industry, as well as academic advisors and collaborators including Dr Geoff Lawton, ex-Roche, board Antabio; Dr Ronald van Rij at the University of Nijmegen and Dr Andrew Davidson, at Bristol University. Charles River Laboratories (Biofocus/Argenta) is currently its drug discovery CRO partner. Effecta Pharma was founded by Paul Edwards (BI, Galapagos, Pfizer) and Helmuth van Es (co-founder Galapagos, Audion, Antabio and Citryll).
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