Blocking NRP-1 for the Treatment of Pain, Cancer and Prevention of Viral Entry

Case ID:

This invention discloses a novel method for the treatment of pain and cancer as well as the prevention of viral entry, most notably SARS-CoV-2. The inventors have identified a number of promising lead compounds which bind to and interrupt neuropilin 1 (NRP-1) signaling. This is an important first step in the development of small molecule inhibitors that could not only be used to treat neuropathic pain and cancer, but also serve as a preventative measure against SARS-CoV-2 virus entry.

COVID-19, a disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), continues to infect millions of people worldwide and no therapeutic has been made commercially available as of yet. One promising therapeutic approach would be to inhibit neuropilin 1 (NRP-1) signaling, as there is evidence to suggest that SARS-CoV-2 hijacks the VEGF-A/NRP-1 signaling pathway in order to gain viral entry into cells. Additionally, NRP-1 has also been a long-time focus of drug discovery efforts for cancer treatment and represents a novel target for treating neuropathic pain as well. Thus targeting the inhibition of NRP-1 would not only be an innovative method for preventing SARS-CoV-2 virus entry, but would also be advantageous in the treatment pain and cancer.


  • Inhibit NRP-1
  • Treatment of pain and cancer
  • Prevent SARS-CoV-2 virus entry


  • Novel application of method
  • Promising lead compounds identified
  • Hybrid pharmacophore model
  • Potential combination with existing drug
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Mitch Graffeo
Sr. Licensing Manager - COM-T
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Rajesh Khanna
Aubin Moutal
Samantha Perez-Miller