project . 2020 - 2022 . Closed


Swift COronavirus therapeutics REsponse
Open Access mandate for Publications
European Commission
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 101003627 Call for proposal: H2020-SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020
Funded under: H2020 | RIA Overall Budget: 2,627,550 EURFunder Contribution: 2,576,060 EUR
Status: Closed
01 Apr 2020 (Started) 30 Sep 2022 (Ended)
Open Access mandate
Research data: No

Coronavirus 2019-nCoV has become a worldwide public health emergency, and the lack of vaccines and drugs to immediately address this outbreak is painfully clear. Even if the epidemic can be stopped, the virus may return in the same or a modified form. More than vaccines and therapeutic antibodies, antiviral drugs can target highly conserved viral functions and have the broad-spectrum activity that is critical to combat current and future outbreaks. Since the 2003 SARS outbreak, as leading academic coronavirus researchers, we have collaborated to understand and inhibit coronavirus replication. We defined viral key functions, developed tools for inhibitor screening, and identified/engineered drug candidates. Until 2015, our collaborative efforts were supported by the FP7 SILVER project, but they have been continued until this very day. As European coronavirus experts, we now propose the SCORE project, supported by a leading pharmaceutical company. Virologists, biochemists, structural biologists, and medicinal chemists will collaborate in a state-of-the-art drug discovery/design program that targets 2019-nCoV. Our vast SARS-CoV-derived expertise and unique toolbox will be a major asset to achieve immediate impact. We will target the virus using 5 independent approaches: (i) using of (combinations of) FDA-approved drugs, (ii) targeting viral RNA synthesis, (iii) inhibiting coronavirus proteases, (iv) blocking virus entry, (v) discovery and development of new antivirals. This program will be supplemented with 2019-nCoV toolbox and animal model development. We aim to deliver proof-of-concept for selected compounds within 6-9 months, after which they will be offered for further use/development. This will contribute to short-term solutions for the on-going crisis and also pave the way for mid/long-term success in developing inhibitors that will be active against (evolving) 2019-nCoV strains, other SARS-like coronaviruses, and potentially (beta)coronaviruses at large.

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