Investigators at Yale School of Medicine have teamed up with New England Discovery Partners to develop novel small molecule drugs that combat severe viral disease caused by mosquito-transmitted viruses. The drugs are designed to specifically target those human proteins that the viruses need to successfully establish infection.

The drugs will have broad-spectrum activity against multiple medically important flaviviruses including West Nile virus, Dengue virus and Zika virus.

This work stems from a multidisciplinary collaboration with expertise in viral genetics, drug discovery, and medicinal chemistry and a team composed of Dr. Joseph Contessa of Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Jan Carette of Stanford, and Dr. Michael Van Zandt from Branford’s New England Discovery Partners (

The group has been awarded a small business technology transfer (STTR) grant of $600,000 from the National Institutes of Health in order to advance this approach for generating new medicines to treat these infectious diseases.