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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V008404/1
Title: VIRTACs - Protein Degradation as an Anti-Viral Strategy
Principal Investigator: France, Dr D J
Other Investigators:
Wilson, Dr SJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2021 Ends: 31 December 2023 Value (£): 402,635
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biological & Medicinal Chem.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
08 Sep 2020 EPSRC Physical Sciences - September 2020 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
As highlighted by the current Covid-19 pandemic, viruses are a constant threat to human health and prosperity. Viral infections kill millions of people every year and population growth, international travel and climate change mean that human populations are increasingly vulnerable to emerging viral threats. Further to the severe morbidity and mortality caused by viruses, lost productivity and livestock deaths mean viruses place a considerable burden on the global economy (estimated in the tens of billions of pounds worldwide each year). Developing new strategies to combat viral threats is of tremendous importance, as recognized by many organizations including the United Nations, World Health Organization, and UK Government. Most antiviral drugs work through a classical mechanism that involves a 1:1 interaction of the drug with its target. An emerging strategy in Medicinal Chemistry seeks to overcome this "occupancy based" limitation using a new mechanism called protein degradation. There are lots of potential advantages to the protein degradation approach, but its new enough that it hasn't really been explored much in an antiviral context. This project will explore the protein degradation mechanism in targeting 3 viruses of importance to human health: HIV, influenza, and the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is causing the current Covid-19 pandemic. Although we're not aiming to generate a new drug during this project period (that takes longer and costs more), we believe that this project will lay the groundwork for important new therapies in the future. There's no doubt that these therapies will be needed, as viruses are constantly developing resistance.
Key Findings
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Summary
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Organisation Website: http://www.gla.ac.uk