â€˜AnaViRxâ€™ is focused on development of novel small molecule therapeutics against viral infections.
The company has lead candidates against a number of pathogenic viruses including Influenza and West Nile virus.
The current marketplace for influenza therapeutics is dominated by two drugs (Tamiflu (Roche) and Relenza (GSK)) with combined annual sales in 2009 over $4 Billion1 ). Tamiflu is taken orally while Relenza must be inhaled - requiring a dedicated inhaler. However, both drugs target the influenza neuraminidase and viral resistance (to Tamiflu in particular) has been demonstrated and is a growing concern.
Influenza has previously demonstrated resistance to other drugs. The admantanes (inhibitors of the viral M2 protein) are no longer used since almost all flu strains are resistant to these drugs.
Resistance to Influenza therapeutics arises through viral mutation and reassortment where the targeted gene may mutate and is no longer sensitive to the drug being used. To limit the potential for resistance to therapeutics to occur, a therapeutic that targets an essential host protein required for replication or release of the virus from the infected cells would be a better option as long as these targets are not essential to other normal biological functions. AnaViRx is focused on identifying small molecule inhibitors against these targets using a combination of high throughput screening, molecular modeling to understand the key features of molecules binding to these targets and rational drug design and development.
The Influenza therapeutic program is poised for clinical development of our lead candidate and will aim to provide a viable therapeutic option in the annual fight against Influenza infections around the globe.