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Antivirals Against Feline Virus

A research team from Kansas State University, Wichita State University and the Ohio State University came together to develop novel therapeutics against feline coronaviruses. From their research, a series of novel protease inhibitors were synthesized that have shown potent antiviral activity against feline coronaviruses. The protease inhibitor is also strongly synergistic in combination with host enzyme (cathepsin) inhibitors, which is recently shown to block coronavirus entry into cells, on the replication of FIPV.

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is currently one of the leading infectious causes of fatality among young cats in multiple cat households and shelters. FIP is caused by a variant of feline enteric coronavirus (FECV), which normally causes asymptomatic to mild enteritis. FECV is a very common, highly infectious virus and is believed to give rise to FIP virus (FIPV) through mutations.

Despite the importance of FIP in cats, no effective vaccine or antiviral drug is available.

To help combat this fatal disease, the group of researchers is currently funded through a NIH U01 with a specific aim of developing novel antiviral drugs.

  • Currently, there is no FDA-approved antiviral against feline coronaviruses that cause FIP and feline enteric coronaviruses.
  • Series of compounds target a viral protease (3CL protease), which is essential for virus replication. Series of compounds exhibit low cytotoxicity and have in vitro therapeutic indexes of >500.
  • Series of compounds are more potent and have longer duration of antiviral effects on FIPV, compared with entry blockers of coronavirus.
  • Series of compounds shows potent synergistic effects in combination with an entry blocker of coronavirus.

Preventive and therapeutic measures for FIP in domestic and wild cats.

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Kansas State University

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