Rational Design of Antiviral Drugs

Design and Testing of novel compounds effective against SARS-CoV-2

Sidorenko, Dorjee, Breslauer, Johnson, Grollman

We have organized a consortium to explore the potential of antiviral agents known to be effective against RNA viruses, including coronaviruses. In so doing, we build on Grollman’s and Johnson’s research on aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) and emetine. Our experienced multidisciplinary team includes SBU laboratories headed by Grollman, Johnson and Garcia-Diaz; the Breslauer laboratory at Rutger University, and the Peden laboratory of DNA viruses at the FDA..


diagram of interdisciplinary consortium
The LCB has established experimental systems designed to explore, at the molecular and cellular level, the mechanism(s) of action of several lead compounds. This mechanistic information will provide clues to the structural features involved in the selective toxicity of candidate inhibitors.

Medicinal chemists have looked forward to the day when rational drug design could incorporate the three-dimensional structure of the relevant receptor. We utilize this approach in our program, with Garcia-Diaz performing structural studies, using facilities in Brookhaven National Laboratories.

Crystallographic structures of RdRp and 40s ribosomes are available, facilitating interpretation of the high-resolution structure of these complex macromolecules when bound to our lead compounds and their derivatives. Structures of lead compounds will be modified to achieve optimal therapeutic effects.