NEW YORK, June 24 - Isis Pharmaceuticals is beginning a search for antisense therapies to the SARS coronavirus, which the Industrial and Technology Research Institute of Taiwan is funding with $2 million, the organizations said today.
Initially, the goal is to identify at least one SARS antisense drug, and then develop intravenous and aerosol forms of the drug to prepare for preclinical toxicology studies.
Isis, of Carlsbad, Calif., has already synthesized about 200 antisense compounds that inhibit regions of the SARS coronavirus sequences. These stretches of sequence are conserved across all known sequences of the SARS coronavirus.
ITRI is a non-profit research institute funded by the Taiwanese government.