Aarthi Narayanan, Associate Professor, National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, received $35,000 from Innovation Pharmaceuticals, Inc., for a project in which she is examining the use of Brilacidin for the treatment of coronavirus infections.
Brilacidin is an investigational new drug. It is a polymer-based antibiotic currently in human clinical trials. It represents a new class of antibiotics called host defense protein mimetics, or HDP-mimetics, which are non-peptide synthetic small molecules modeled after host defense peptides.
As part of this project, Narayanan will first determine the EC50 values, or the concentration of the drug that gives a half-maximal response.
From there, Naryanan and her collaborators will evaluate if Brilacidin has direct virus-killing activity.
They will also assess whether Brilacidin can be provided as a second dose to infected cells without inducing toxicity.
As they work, the researchers will time their experiments to determine the appropriate timing of treatment.
Funding for this research began in May 2020 and will conclude in late August 2020.