Media Coverage

KSU collaborates on feline antiviral compound

Sep 27, 2018 - Animal Pharm

By Daniel Willis

Collaborators at Kansas State University (KSU) are developing GC376 – an antiviral compound for feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) for which is there is currently no cure.

Yunjeong Kim and Kyeong-Ok Chang are virologists at KSU, who are part of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Working in collaboration with them is William Groutas, who is a medicinal chemist from Wichita State University. They have been working on the development of antiviral drugs for human and animal viruses since 2006.

Dr Kim said: "We have been working on antiviral drugs that inhibit a specific virus protease of some important human and animal viruses, and we were able to make very potent inhibitors of FIP."

Dr Chang added: "There are many viral diseases that affect human and animals, but antiviral drugs are available for only a number of viruses, and none have been approved specifically for animals."

FIP is a progressive and fatal disease caused by a feline coronavirus, which can affect both domestic and wild cats. Feline coronaviruses are the cause of viral enteritis, which while usually harmless, can in rare occurrences spread through the body and cause death, predominantly in cats aged two and younger.

KSU's Institute for Commercialization alongside Anivive Lifesciences co-ordinated the licensing agreement.

Anivive is a biotechnology firm based in California. The company signed a licensing deal for pet cancer drug candidate verdinexor with Karyopharm in 2017.

Bret Ford, associate director for licensing at the Institute for Commercialization, said: "The team members from Anivive Lifesciences are committed to developing the compound GC376 for the treatment of FIP with a sense of urgency and we look forward to watching their progress over the coming years."

Due to the collaboration of Anivive and KSU, the length of time to bring GC376 to market will be accelerated. However, researchers said it could take several years before it will be made available. 

Reprinted with permission of Animal Pharm News





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