Fighting COVID19 with calpain inhibitors

Main funder

Funder's project number: 336487

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 249 592,00

Funding program

Project timetable

Project start date: 01/07/2020

Project end date: 31/12/2022


It is important to develop coronavirus (CoV) targeting antivirals as it remains unclear if and when a safe and efficient vaccine becomes
available. We propose to create antivirals against CoV proteases that process the virus polyprotein to virus capsid proteins by using a
novel approach, by inhibiting cellular calpain enzymes. We have preliminary results showing that calpain inhibitors prevent COVID19
infection. In addition, we have shown that calpain inhibitors knock down both host cell calpains and the enteroviral protease, that both
contribute to virus polyprotein processing. We reckon that calpain inhibitors attack both host cell calpain proteases and viral 3C-like
protease, closely resembling enterovirus 3C protease, and both process the viral polyprotein. In the project we will find the inhibitor
with best efficacy, chemically optimize the inhibitor with new design, synthesis and efficacy against virus infection.

Principal Investigator

Primary responsible unit

Related publications

Last updated on 2021-17-03 at 12:04