Bengaluru-based Foundation for Neglected Disease Research (FNDR) and Spanish firm DevsHealth have announced the start of a collaborative project to develop new broad-spectrum antiviral agents for infections caused by flaviviruses such as dengue, Zika,West Nile virus, and Japanese encephalitis, among others. Flaviviruses belong to the Flaviviridae family of viruses and cause more than 400 million human infections per year. Most cases are
mild infections with self-limiting febrile episodes, but some infections cause severe and life-threatening disease with symptoms such as haemorrhagic fever, encephalitis, paralysis, or hepatic failure, among others.
Climate change is affecting global disease distribution, and an increase in flavivirus infection cases has been seen in Europe and North America. This collaboration has the potential to revolutionise the way flavivirus infections are treated. There are currently no drugs available to patients to treat these infections.