Small Molecule Non-Nucleoside Inhibitors of the Measles Viruses


Small molecule measles virus RNA Dependent RNA Polymerase (RDRP) inhibitors.

Key Benefits

  • Potent (nM) non-nucleoside small molecule inhibitors of the measles virus RDRP protein.
  • No current drug therapy for measles.

Market Summary

The target market for this therapeutic agent is in the developing world where measles has been known to kill as many as one out of four people. In underdeveloped nations with high rates of malnutrition and poor healthcare, fatality rates have been as high as 28%. For immunocompromised patients (e.g., people with AIDS) with limited response to vaccination, the fatality rate due to measles infection is approximately 30%. Measles is the leading cause of blindness among African children and kills almost 1 million children in the world each year. The introduction of a therapeutic agent would be intended to complement the vaccine programs run by specific countries, not replace such programs. Moreover, in immune compromised patients that would have limited response to vaccination, this agent may be the only hope for those infected with the measles virus. These therapy may also be useful in the developed countries where measles virus vaccine rates have been declining leading to viral outbreaks.

Technical Summary

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that can lead to serious complications or even death. Currently, no therapies exist for the treatment of the measles virus; it is only prevented through administration of a vaccine. Despite the existence of an effective vaccine, the worldwide incidence of measles is on the rise, increasing the need for an effective treatment. The only drug currently approved for the treatment of paramyxoviruses is Ribavirin but it has limited efficacy against the measles virus while having significant adverse effects.

Developmental Stage

The small molecules that have been identified are non-nucleoside inhibitors with in vitro cellular potency in the low-nanomolar range. The lead compound also has shown no mutagenicity or hERG toxicity in vitro. They are water soluble and preliminary studies indicate they are moderately metabolically stable and orally available.


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White, L.K. et al. (2007). Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 51(7), 2293-2303.

Patent Information

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
Nationalized PCT - United States United States 14/352,176 9,499,489 4/16/2014 11/22/2016 Issued
EP Registered Country France 12844117.7 2771324 4/28/2014 2/1/2017 Issued
EP Registered Country Germany 12844117.7 2771324 4/28/2014 2/1/2017 Issued
EP Registered Country United Kingdom 12844117.7 2771324 4/28/2014 2/1/2017 Issued
Nationalized PCT - Foreign EP 12844117.7 2771324 4/28/2014 2/1/2017 Issued
Continuation United States 15/204,285 9,676,727 7/7/2016 6/13/2017 Issued
Tech ID: 12013
Published: 1/27/2012