The Chinese University of Hong Kong – Billy Wai-Lung Ng

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a grant of USD 254,437 to support Influenza antiviral discovery research.

Pandemic influenza remains a substantial threat to public health, and novel, safe, and cheap antiviral therapeutics clearly differentiated from currently marketed drugs for seasonal influenza are warranted. In a pilot project led by Professor Billy Wai-Lung a new class of antiviral drug candidates, i.e., carbobicyclic nucleosides, targeting the influenza polymerase will be explored. The planned research entails the creation of a small library of carbobicyclic nucleoside analogs. These analogs will be characterized for their antiviral activity through cell-based influenza virus replication assays. The team will also evaluate off-target liabilities using biochemical assays of host polymerases, as well as cell-based assays to assess cytotoxicity and genotoxicity. The research team members include Professors Renee Chan, Peter Cheung, Joan Zuo, and Dr. Stephan Scheeff. The team, and project, is hosted at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the pilot will commence in the Fall of 2023 and run for 13 months.