Research update from the OPN team (February 2024)

The Open Pandemics team has released new work units, which are targeting the DNA polymerase of cytomegalovirus.


- DNA polymerase: An enzyme, made up of multiple subunits, that builds DNA by assembling nucleotides.


Scientists at Scripps Research are doing molecular modeling simulations to look for possible candidates for the development of treatments for viruses, including COVID-19. This research requires massive computing power to carry out millions of simulated laboratory experiments. The molecules identified as promising candidates are then tested in laboratories by collaborators of the OPN team.

Work unit update

New work units are targeting the DNA polymerase of cytomegalovirus, a common virus which is particularly harmful to pregnant or immunocompromised individuals. The goal is to identify small molecule binders to one of the polymerase subunits, preventing its interaction with another polymerase subunit, and thereby disrupting the assembly of a functional polymerase. About 40 million molecules from Enamine will be simulated to identify candidates for purchase and evaluation by our collaborators.

Figure 1. Cytomegalovirus infection of pneumocytes (Image Author: Dr. Yale Rosen, USA. Image licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licence)