Recurrent seasonal flu concerns 5-10% of the world population each year ( > 3,000 deaths in France and > 24,000 deaths in USA). Currently, protection relies on annual vaccination with variable and unpredictable efficacy and essentially on neuraminidase inhibitors that can be used for the treatment of established illness and for pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis in specific situations. However, these drugs effectiveness is strongly questioned and emergence of resistance and changes in seasonal and pandemic strains further decrease drug responsiveness. To face epidemic and pandemic flu, ENYO Pharma is developing host-oriented molecules with broad-spectrum activity and high barrier to emergence of resistant variants.
Three drug discovery programs are developed to interfere with autophagy and apoptosis processes. Targeting host proteins, our molecules are designed to elicit broad-spectrum antiviral activities against multiple influenza viruses and to prevent emergence of resistance. Synergistic antiviral effect with reference molecules (oseltamivir or amantadine) opens perspectives of original combination therapies. Short-term treatment limits the risk of toxic side-effect. Toxicology testing is ongoing for our lead investigational candidates.