An Antiviral Company
Advancing innovative drugs for viral infections with critical unmet therapeutic needs
ViroCarb is a science-driven biotech company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative drugs for viral infections with urgent unmet therapeutic needs.
Our approach of blocking host cell’s processes needed for viral replication overcomes the limitations of current antiviral drug development, directed against viral-encoded targets, caused by extensive viral mutations that limit efficacy and promote drug resistance (e.g. DNA polymerase, reverse transcriptase, protease, and neuraminidase inhibitors).
We are developing new small molecule scaffolds that disrupt human cell processes hijacked by multiple viruses for replication and colonization. They represent an entirely new drug class with potential activity against a wide range of pathogenic viruses.
One of these processes is RNA alternative splicing, required for the expression of specific viral proteins during infection by viruses such as HIV, influenza, Herpes, Adenovirus, Varicella zoster, Papilloma, Coronavirus and Hepatitis b. This process, performed by the host cell’s RNA-processing machinery, generates transcripts that encode structural, regulatory, and accessory viral proteins. Another process involves the host cell endoplasmic reticulum functions; these cellular functions are co-opted by viruses such as Dengue, West Nile, Hepatitis C, and Coronavirus to promote different steps of the viral life cycle including entry, replication, assembly, and egress.
Specific host cell pathways regulate these processes, and inhibitors of these pathways have significant therapeutic potential. This approach can be applied to the development of novel drugs for the treatment of infections caused by COVID-19. This coronavirus is the cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome, currently plaguing the world. Furthermore, proteomic studies of COVID-19-infected host cells revealed that RNA- splicing is an essential process required for COVID-19 replication [Bojkova, D. et al. Nature https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2332-7 (2020) ]
Targeting host functions that regulate viral infections
Our preclinical drug candidate, "GPS-491", developed in collaboration with leading academics in molecular genetics, medicinal chemistry and functional genomics from the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia and L'Université de Sherbrooke, exhibits broad and potent activity against all HIV subtypes and against HIV clinical strains resistant to current therapies (US Provisional 62/948,672; filed Dec 16, 2019: in-licensed from UofT, UBC & UdeSh). GPS491 has activity against Adenovirus and Herpes simplex and has potential efficacy against other clinically relevant RNA-splicing dependent viruses. GPS-491 shows excellent tolerability and oral bioavailability in pharmacokinetic studies conducted in mice.
Development of a new class of HIV entry inhibitors
ViroCarb has identified a novel series of drug like small molecules compounds with anti-HIV activity from more than four million chemical structures screened “In silico” using target-ligand interaction models between the HIV envelope (gp120-V3 loop domain) and the HIV-host cell receptor (glycosphingolipid: globotriaosyl ceramide). Our leading compounds exhibit strong anti-HIV effect on human T cell lines infected with HIV clinical strains (CXCR4 and CCR5-tropic) and multi-drug resistant strains (International WIPO (PCT) patent application, publication date: June 28, 2018, PN 20180179166; Owner: ViroCarb Inc.)
President & Board Director
Industrial R&D/drug development experience, successful discovery & development of multiple drug candidates
Molecular & Medical Genetics
University of Toronto, Canada
CSO & Chairman of the Board
Senior Scientist, the Hospital for Sick Children &
Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada
Depts. Biochemistry, Lab. Medicine & Pathobiology
Co-founder of Select Therapeutics
(successful NASDAQ exit)
CBO & Board Director
Business executive in API, fine chemicals, biotechnology, drug product and CDMO.
Carbogen Amcis, Patheon, Eurofins CDMO
University of Salford, UK
Founder & President, Custom Biologics, Experience building and operating research-based biopharmaceutical companies
University of Toronto, Canada
CEO at GeneBio Systems Inc. Executive, Diagnostics-Xpert. Experience in product development
University of Guelph, Canada
Dr. Jean-Phillipe Julien
The Hospital for Sick Children, Univ. of Toronto, Canada Research Chair Structural Immunology
Dr. Alan Cochrane
University of Toronto, HIV Molecular Genetics
Dr. David Grierson
University of British Columbia, Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Dr. Benoit Chabot
Université de Sherbrooke, Canada Research Chair, Functional Genomics
Dr. Sharon Walmsley
Mt. Sinai Hospital-HIV Clinical Trials Coordinator, Order of Canada
Business and Legal:
Dr. Dave Valliere
Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson
Dr. Richard Bozzato
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
ViroCarb is a science-led biotech company founded and managed by an experienced team of scientists involved in world-leading research, with industrial management experience and expertise in drug discovery and development of small molecule therapeutics. We have assembled a cohesive and innovative group of collaborators and scientific advisors, world-class medicinal chemists, molecular pathologists, and leaders in legal and business development.