Jeffrey Glenn awarded grant to develop broad-spectrum antiviral drugs

JEFFREY GLENN, professor of gastroenterology and hepatology and of microbiology and immunology, has won a five-year, $14.3 million contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to fund the development of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs for enteroviruses and potentially SARS-CoV-2.

Jeffrey Glenn, professor of gastroenterology and hepatology and of microbiology and immunology. (Courtesy Stanford Medicine)

Enteroviruses constitute a broad family of viruses. They’re responsible for about half of the mild viral upper-respiratory infections known as the common cold, as well as encephalitis and myocarditis — inflammation of the brain and the heart, respectively — and the poliovirus.

Since 2014, another enterovirus, EV-D68, has been implicated in puzzling biennial bursts of a polio-like disease, acute flaccid myelitis, in the United States and Europe.

“Our first targeted indication will be EV-D68, a devastating cause of paralysis in children and fatal sepsis in neonates,” he said. “There is no Food and Drug Administration-approved therapy for EV-D68, but our small-molecule inhibitors are the only ones to date to have shown efficacy in animal models of enteroviruses, where we have achieved 100 percent survival and even reversal of paralysis.”

Glenn is also pursuing antiviral drugs directed against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Glenn is a member of Stanford Bio-X and of the Stanford Maternal & Child Health Research Institute and is a faculty fellow of Stanford ChEM-H.

Read the full article on the Stanford Medicine website.