Started in January 2024, the EU funded project APPEAL will identify broad spectrum host-directed antiviral drugs (HDA) as promising therapeutic options. The project aims
  • to establish a computational and experimental pipeline to identify and validate an antiviral for these viruses, and
  • to identify at least one broad spectrum antiviral drug against potential emerging and re-emerging viruses as listed by the WHO.
To achieve these objective, APPEAL will implement a drug selection pipeline following a high-tech strategy employing
  1. machine learning, based on data from knockout screens, proteomics, protein interaction, transcriptomics of infected cells with pandemic-related viruses, Genome-Wide Association Studies, and generic gene descriptors,
  2. High Density Cell Arrays, which provide much more detailed readouts compared to state of the art pooled knockout screens,
  3. primary cell cultures obtained from a diverse array of human tissues, as they are more appropriate to study the host cell physiology during infection, compared to cancer cell lines, and
  4. use the pipeline to identify host restriction factors, which, when activated, challenge the virus; followed by innovative drug development and delivery based on small activating RNA.

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The APPEAL project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 101137311. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Interested in working in the field?
Jena University Hospital has an open position in bioinformatics. More details here.

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