New Flavivirus Inhibitors for Treating Infections Such as West Nile and Dengue

Categories: “Viruses, Chronic & Infectious Diseases

Reference #: 2008-035, 2008-036

OTC Contact: Tracy L. Bruehs, M.S., J.D., Associate Director (Directory Information | Send a Message)


A new compound class that may be used for the treatment of flavivirus infections, including dengue, West Nile virus and encephalitis, has been discovered. At present there are no drugs or vaccines available that are indicated for the treatment and/or prevention of these diseases. Specific compounds of this invention exhibit significantly greater than 80% inhibition of West Nile virus protease, and thus represent an exciting opportunity to capture a growing disease area that is in dire need of new therapies.


This technology encompasses small molecule drugs for the treatment and prevention of flavivirus infections in humans, in particular dengue and West Nile.


  • Compounds of the invention offer new therapeutic leads in a disease area that lacks any approved therapies.
  • This class of inhibitor compounds has not been previously described in the literature to be inhibitors of West Nile virus protease.

Stage of Development

The compounds of the invention treat patients afflicted by flavivirus infections by inhibiting flavivirus serine protease. Structure Activity Relationship (SAR) analysis has been used to optimize the structures of these compounds. Research is ongoing, including cytotoxicity assays and mammalian cell-based assays.

Relevant Publications

Padmanabhan, R. et al. “Identification and Biochemical Characterization of Small-Molecule Inhibitors of West Nile Virus Serine Protease by a High Throughput Screen.” Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Sept. 2008, p. 3385-3393.


Radhakrishnan Padmanabhan and William Groutas (Wichita State University)

Patent Status

Patents are currently pending