Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

+39 011 090 6100 info@tech-share.it

Strigolactones for prevention and treatment of virus infections

Antiviral drugscovid-19HCMVStrigolactones

Introduction

Most of herpesviruses are responsible for serious infections also in humans. First-line choice for treatment of herpes infections are nucleoside analogues (e.g., ganciclovir) which unfortunately may cause serious side effects. The objective of this invention is the identification of a new antiviral drug for the treatment of Herpesvirus infection, including Congenital Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) congenital infections.

Technical features

Herpesviruses are double stranded enveloped DNA viruses with icosahedral symmetry belonging to the Herpesviridae family. First-line choice for treatment of herpes infections are nucleoside analogues which unfortunately may cause considerable toxicity to the host. Nucleoside analogues are also known to induce resistance mutations on genes coding for viral enzymes involved in DNA synthesis. To this end, the identification of new cellular targets to block viral replication would allow to tackle the occurrence of genome mutations. The objective of this invention is the identification of a new class of molecules endowed with the ability to inhibit the replication of viruses of the Herpesviridae family. We have indeed demonstrated that natural strigolactones, a class of signal molecules produced by the roots of most superior plants, as well as their synthetic derivatives, are characterized by a strong in vitro inhibitory activity against HCMV and related viruses.

Possible Applications

Prevention and protection of CMV disease for:

  • Transplant recipients;
  • Pregnants;
  • “Pre‐emptive therapy” of organ recipients.

Advantages

  • Higher specificity;
  • Lower citotoxicity;
  • Compounds of natural origin, to overcome antiviral drug resistance displayed by currently available compounds.