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Development of novel antiviral drugs against Influenza (FLUCURE)
Start date: Oct 1, 2010, End date: Sep 30, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Influenza viruses cause a highly contagious respiratory disease in both humans and animals. Typically, influenza spreads worldwide in seasonal epidemics resulting in an estimated 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness and 250,000 to 500,000 deaths annually. In addition to these seasonal epidemics there have been several pandemics since the early 1900’s, where highly virulent strains emerged, the most devastating being the ‘Spanish Flu’ of 1918, which caused 20-40 million deaths globally. Vaccination is currently the primary means of controlling the spread of influenza virus infections but due to the virus’s notorious ability to mutate, new vaccines must be developed each year. There are a few antiviral drugs that are currently on the market; however, their therapeutic potential is restricted through rapid appearance of drug-resistant viruses during treatment. Thus, the need for novel effective drugs against influenza is evident. The FLUCURE project aims at developing innovative, first-in-class therapeutics against influenza by targeting the viral ribonucleoprotein complex, which is replication core of the virion and a major contributor to viral virulence. The high level of conservation combined with slow mutation rates of the ribonucleoprotein complex should result in therapeutics with broad viral strain specificity associated with a reduced risk for developing resistance. FLUCURE builds further on two successful EU-FP7 drug discovery projects, FLUINHIBIT and FluDrugStrategy, both targeting specific but different protein-protein interactions of the viral ribonucleoprotein complex with small molecule inhibitors. A consortium of 10 partners with the required complementary skills will progress the lead candidates from these two projects synergistically through lead optimization and preclinical development phases, with the final objective to deliver one or more drug candidates suitable for entering clinical development within 4 years."
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10 Partners Participants