Hepatitis B virions (orange coloured)
© CDC/Dr. Erskine Palmer

Novel Antivirals

Novel agents against viruses are urgently needed.

DZIF scientists develop novel agents against viruses, in addition to developing antibiotics against bacterial pathogens. There is a lack of successful treatment, both for emerging viruses like Ebola and Zika as well as for many other well-known viral diseases such as hepatitis B and influenza. The DZIF established this infrastructure available to all research fields to specifically research novel substances with antiviral effects.

In future, the quest for new antiviral agent candidates is to increasingly involve searching biobanks that have collections of small-molecule substances. To this effect, all DZIF partner sites obtain access to respective screening platforms and substance libraries. Additionally, support for conducting screening experiments is available upon request. Screening platforms exist in Munich, Heidelberg, Hannover and Braunschweig.

DZIF project leaders can obtain advice and continuous support from the “Novel Antiviral Substance” infrastructure, which is provided by medical chemists in particular. They assess from a chemical perspective whether an active substance identified in the screenings could serve as a promising agent candidate even in the early stages of a project. They also make suggestions with regard to how a chemical substance could be optimised and recommend partners, both from the DZIF and external parties, who can perform the recommended synthesis. 

Additionally, the Product Development team is actively involved in the new infrastructure’s work: they provide advice for agent candidate selections, evaluate market potentials and contact industrial partners if required.