Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites that rely on cellular functions to replicate. To use, inhibit and modify numerous cellular functions, viruses are targeting cellular proteins with their own proteins.
A viral infection can thus be considered as a number of perturbations introduced in the cellular protein network when viral proteins make new connections or disrupt existing ones. These perturbations support viral replication and lead to cellular dysfunctions and associated diseases. Viruses are thus the precursors of network pharmacology as they show where and how the intracellular protein network can be manipulated to induce, inhibit or interfere with specific functions.
The key is to identify the right protein-protein interactions in order to mimic the virus strategy for modulation of cellular functions. From the viral features involved in this interaction, ENYO Pharma designs active small molecules that can be easily developed. They target human intracellular proteins not previously considered tractable to drug development. This disruptive host-targeted approach is applicable to a broad range of diseases with unmet medical needs, infectious and non-infectious diseases.