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Synthesis of dual-inhibitors targeting SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and PLpro

Grant number: 21/09433-3
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): January 27, 2022
Effective date (End): January 26, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal researcher:Carlos Alberto Montanari
Grantee:Felipe Cardoso Prado Martins
Supervisor abroad: Christian Klein
Home Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Heidelberg University, Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:20/07222-2 - Synthesis of novel dual-inhibitors targeting SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, BP.DD


The pandemic of COVID-19 has drawn everyone's attention. Unfortunately, since the appearance of the SARS and MERS viral infections in the 2000s, no treatments have been developed thus far. Therefore, it is urgent the production of a molecule to serve as a treatment that can act against SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. This project aims at synthesizing novel inhibitors that can potentially work against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and/or PLpro, ideally as dual inhibitors. Considering our group far-reaching expertise in developing and synthesizing human cathepsins and parasitic protease inhibitors, and considering also the high degree of similarity between human, parasitic and viral proteases, we are interested in the synthesis of new compounds inspired by the real possibility of designing new inhibitors with dual action on the proposed targets. To achieve this, we will incorporate the immeasurable expertise of Prof. Stockwell who has recently developed an excellent drug candidate with high potency over SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, different scaffold modifications will be carried out in order to achieve a better joint affinity towards Mpro and PLpro. Chemical modifications through known synthetic reactions will be employed in order to achieve such goals. The compounds will be synthesized, purified, fully characterized, and then tested through biochemical assays, performed by members of our group, in order to test each compound's affinity for the enzymes of interest. (AU)

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