MTW17-020: Developing a safe and effective combined anticoronaviral therapy (CACT) for cats with FIP

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), caused by a type of feline coronavirus known as FIPV, is a common and generally lethal disease of domestic cats for which there currently is no effective treatment or vaccination plan. The emergence of the closely related human-animal coronaviruses SARS and MERS has accelerated coronavirus research and has paved the way for parallel advances in FIP therapeutics. Beginning in the 1990’s, the simultaneous use of three drugs targeting different steps in the HIV life cycle, referred to as combination antiretroviral therapy (CART), has dramatically changed the course of the HIV epidemic. This impressive therapeutic result has convinced many researchers in the feline coronavirus field that antiviral therapy holds the brightest hope for therapeutic success. These investigators have taken advantage of the current research environment by establishing collaborations with researchers at different universities and private companies to supply drug compounds for antiviral testing at UC Davis. They have developed an efficient method to quantitatively screen compounds for their effectiveness against FIPV. This work has resulted in the identification of multiple drugs that block FIPV replication at two different points of the virus lifecycle. They will identify other drugs blocking FIPV at a different lifecycle step and then create a safe and effective combined anticoronaviral therapy (CACT) for cats suffering from FIP.

Grant ID: MTW17-020

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2017

Amount awarded: $20,500

Investigator: Brian Murphy, DVM, DACVP, Niels Pedersen, DVM, PhD; University of California-Davis