Our approach to antiviral drug development focuses on targeting parts of the virus that are highly conserved across a virus family.

By focusing on these regions, we hypothesize that we can develop broad-spectrum antivirals that are effective against multiple viruses in a family. These drugs would provide protection against existing viruses and have a higher likelihood of being effective against the next, unknown virus when it emerges.

Our Center is led by a highly interdisciplinary team of scientists that are organized into five Research Projects, each focused on a virus family, and three Research Cores organized by their area of expertise. Learn more about our Projects and Cores below.

READDI-AC’s team of researchers have expertise across the entire preclinical drug development pipeline, from early-stage computational modeling to identifying promising target sites to advanced preclinical models for assessing the safety and efficacy of a compound.

This team enables us to identify new chemical matter and rapidly test it for antiviral activity.

The READDI-AC Strategy

~300,000 Screened

Primary Screening: High throughput, DNA-encoded library, and fragment-based screens are used to identify novel chemical starting points (hits) against a target.

~150 Hit Validation

Hit Validation: Compounds identified in screens are tested in biophysical, biochemical, and cell-based assays to confirm their activity.

Ortholog Profiling: Validated hits are tested against other viruses in the same family to assess their broad-spectrum potential.

11 Hit-to-Lead Campaigns

Rapid Design-Synthesis-Test Cycles: Hits are modified by the Chemistry Core to improve their properties in an iterative manner.

4 Leads

Lead Optimization: Project teams and industry partners complete late-stage studies to prepare for IND filings for a compound.

Within our pipeline, the majority of READDI-AC efforts are focused on three enzyme classes:

Proteases: These enzymes play a critical role in viral replication, by cleaving viral polyproteins into individual functional proteins and allowing the virus to assemble and mature properly.

Helicase: These enzymes are responsible for unwinding and separating RNA during viral replication or transcription, allowing for the synthesis of new viral nucleic acids and the replication of the virus.

Polymerase: RNA-dependent RNA polymerases are responsible for accurately copying the viral genetic material during viral replication by catalyzing the synthesis of new viral RNA molecules.