OVERVIEW: Computer-aided drug design techniques are applied to study both viral targets and host factors involved in a range of viral diseases. Using computational methods, novel small molecules able to interfere with these targets are designed, then synthesised and evaluated in different enzymatic and cell-based assays, with the aim to develop novel, safe, and selective treatment strategies for a range of important human pathogens.
PROJECT OUTCOMES: Novel small-molecule scaffolds are identified as promising hit and lead molecules for further development into new antiviral therapies.
AFFILIATED STAFF: Dr Marcella Bassetto
RESEARCH CENTRES/GROUPS: Rega Institute for Medical Research, Leuven Belgium, Institut für Mikrobiologie der Bundeswehr, Munich, Germany, Utah State University, USA
COLLABORATIVE/ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES: We are always open to establish new collaborations with biologists, virologists and fellow medicinal chemists to explore new targets and strategies to identify novel antiviral agents.
Ferla, S., Manganaro, R., Benato, S., Paulissen, J., Neyts, J., Jochmans, D., Brancale, A., Bassetto, M. 2020 Rational modifications, synthesis and biological evaluation of new potential antivirals for RSV designed to target the M2-1 protein. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 28, 8, 115401; doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2020.115401.
Giancotti, G., Rigo, I., Pasqualetto, G., Young, M., Neyts, J., Rocha-Pereira, J., Brancale, A., Ferla, S., Bassetto, M. 2019 A new antiviral scaffold for human norovirus identified with computer-aided approaches on the viral polymerase. Scientific Reports, 9, 1; doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-54903-7.
Giancotti, G., Cancellieri, M., Balboni, A., Giustiniano, M., Novellino, E., Delang, L., Neyts, J., Leyssen, P., Brancale, A., Bassetto, M. 2018 Rational modifications on a benzylidene-acrylohydrazide antiviral scaffold, synthesis and evaluation of bioactivity against Chikungunya virus. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 149, 56-68. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2018.02.054
Ferla, S., Netzler, N., Ferla, S., Veronese, S., Tuipulotu, D., Guccione, S., Brancale, A., White, P., Bassetto, M. 2018 In silico screening for human norovirus antivirals reveals a novel non-nucleoside inhibitor of the viral polymerase. Scientific Reports, 8, 1; doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-22303-y.
Bassetto, M., Leyssen, P., Neyts, J., Yerukhimovich, M., Frick, D., Brancale, A. 2016 Computer-aided identification, synthesis and evaluation of substituted thienopyrimidines as novel inhibitors of HCV replication. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 123, 31-47; doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2016.07.035.
PROJECT CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org