Published February 2012
"Reports on the emergence of Oseltamivir resistant strains of H1N1 Influenza virus necessitated a search for alternative drug candidates. Pleconaril is a novel antiviral drug being developed by Schering-Plough to treat Picornaviridae infections, and is in its late clinical trials stage."
Computer aided drug designing and molecular docking analysis are highly effective in creating and analyzing new candidate drug molecules. 198 out of 310 Pleconaril variants analyzed for docking with NA active site were proven effective. Pleconaril variants with F, Br, CH3, Cl, OH and aromatic ring substitutes showed higher levels of NA binding ability. Several interactions such as hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic, hydrophilic interactions, electrostatics and Vanderwaal forces are thought to have played an important role in stabilizing the drug and target complexes based on the theoretical modeling. Thus, based on the above results we propose Pleconaril variants numbered 3, 4 and 11 (Figure (Figure4)4) with F, Br, CH3, Cl and OH substitutions at R, R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, and R6 positions have a definite potential to be developed as lead compounds for H1N1 Influenza virus. "
pleconaril was licensed to Schering Plough (now Merck?) I assume if it received approval for sepsis that VPHM would be entitled to royalty payments. The phase 2 sepsis study was just concluded by the way.