Vancouver, Canada – February 27, 2023 – Sirona Biochem Corp announces it has received results from its research collaboration with the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) to advance Sirona’s antiviral library of compounds.
The ICGEB has successfully screened a library of 20 compounds produced at Sirona’s subsidiary TFChem as potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV2 using specialized assays developed at the centre. The work was performed at the ICGEB’s Laboratory of Molecular Virology located in Trieste, Italy under the direction of Dr Alessandro Marcello, internationally recognised expert in Human Virology. Of the 20 compounds, 6 showed antiviral activity with one of particular interest. The selective index of the compounds, which relates to potency verse toxicity, is not sufficient to choose a lead compound. Based on these results and other research, the team at TFChem will expand the library to add 5 to 10 new compounds. Sirona’s collaboration agreement with the ICGEB will be extended to test these new molecules. Testing is scheduled to begin in the next 2 months.
“These results are promising, and the initial testing has provided a roadmap for the technology. Our next batch of compounds are currently being created and advances are made possible by the results we’ve received,” reports Dr. Geraldine Deliencourt-Godefroy, Chief Scientific Officer. “In all of our projects lead molecules were the result of modifications to earlier versions which is normal in the drug discovery process. We remain optimistic that we will generate a new anti-viral compound to fight SARS-CoV2 and many other viruses. We strongly believe we are on the right track and will be continuing this project accordingly.”
The Molecular Virology Group in Trieste studies the detection and molecular mechanisms of different arboviruses and has been mainly involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic providing support to the ICGEB Member countries. Activities included in the formulation for protocols for SARS-CoV-2 molecular and serological diagnostics, online tutorials and reagents to be able to develop low-cost in-house assays. COVID-19 viruses circulating in several countries have been sequenced for the first time and made available to the scientific community. A pipeline for testing antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 has been set-up allowing the identification of novel drug candidates.