Virus particle corona
Virus particle corona

IMM in consortium for preclinical development of antiviral molecule medicine against COVID-19

A research project to expand the antiviral toolbox to develop an innovative small molecule drug against coronaviruses has received a ZonMwgrant. The project is executed by a broad coalition of knowledge institutions and public stakeholders, including the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) of Radboud University and IMM spinoff companies Protinhi and Artemis Bioservices. Floris Rutjes, head of the Synthetic Organic Chemistry group within IMM will contribute with his expertise on synthesis of organic molecules.

Small molecule drug coronaviruses
The Corona pandemic showed demonstrated how vulnerabilities in health systems can have profound implications for health. Therefore, it is essential mitigating the spread and infection rate of the virus. People still suffer from severe COVID-19 symptoms despite vaccination and drug treatment opportunities are still limited. In this project, research teams of Radboud University, Protinhi Therapeutics and Artemis Bioservices (spin-offs of IMM and based in Nijmegen) jump into this gap by developing innovative small-molecule medicines against coronaviruses. These medicines will target viral proteases, enzymes crucial for the replication of the virus once entered the human body. Furthermore, the studies will offer better preparation and responsiveness towards future coronavirus epidemics.

Synthetic Organic Chemistry 
Rutjes is Professor in Organic Synthesis, the research group is part of the IMM. The group designs and synthesises biologically relevant small molecules and develops new sustainable synthesis methods. The fundamentally orientated group actively seeks collaborations with business and industry. Rutjes contributes to several chemical science communities that support the exchange of (scientific) developments and ideas for application and innovation.

About ZonMw
In the Netherlands, ZonMw plays a central role in this area as national funding organisation, coveing the entire spectrum from basic research to the implementation of new treatments, disease prevention, and health care improvements. ZonMw aims to ensure that healthy people stay that way for as long as possible, that ill people recover as quickly and completely as possible and that people who require care and nursing receive the highest standard of services. ZonMw’s principal commissioners are the Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Want to know more?

More information
For more information, please contact
Floris Rutjes, floris.rutjes [at] (floris[dot]rutjes[at]ru[dot]nl)
IMM Communications: imm-communication [at] (imm-communication[at]ru[dot]nl)

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