Chemicals block ability of flu virus to replicate in cells; goal is to develop medicines that fight much-feared pandemic influenza outbreaks
A new way to attack flu viruses is taking shape in laboratories at Rutgers University, where scientists have identified chemical agents that block the virus’s ability to replicate itself in cell culture.
These novel compounds show promise for a new class of antiviral medicines to fight much-feared pandemic influenzas such as the looming “bird flu” threats caused by the H5N1 influenza A virus and the new H7N9 virus responsible for a 2013 outbreak in China.
Timely production of a vaccine is difficult when a pandemic flu strikes. A viable alternative is to treat with drugs.
“Right now there’s really only one effective oral drug for treating influenza,” said Eddy Arnold, Board of Governors Professor of chemistry and chemical biology in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers and a member of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine. And just as bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics, Arnold notes that some flu strains have developed resistance to Tamiflu, the sole orally available anti-flu drug.
Arnold and his collaborators have been working to create drugs beyond Tamiflu, especially ones that target different parts of the virus, using an approach that helped in the development of powerful anti-AIDS drugs. By synthesizing chemical compounds that bind to metal ions in a viral enzyme, the researchers found they could halt that enzyme’s ability to activate a key step in the virus’s replication process.
In Arnold’s words, his team’s compounds “really gum up” the targeted enzyme of influenza virus.
“We’re at a key proof of principle stage right now,” he said. “It’s not trivial to go from this point to actually delivering a drug, but we’re optimistic – this class of inhibitors has all the right characteristics.”
Rutgers’ search for these binding compounds relies on technology that reveals the structure of this enzyme in extremely fine detail. Researchers Joseph Bauman and Kalyan Das first produced high-resolution images of an H1N1 flu enzyme, and Bauman and postdoctoral researcher Disha Patel screened 800 small molecule fragments for binding.
The researchers in Arnold’s lab worked with Edmond LaVoie, professor and chair of medicinal chemistry in the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, to modify those compounds, making them more potent and selective in blocking the flu enzyme’s activity. Working with virologist Luis Martinez-Sobrido at the University of Rochester, they were able to detect antiviral activity of the compounds in cells.
The Latest on: Anti-Flu Medicines
- Effective Ways To Dodge Flu Virus Without Using Drugson January 23, 2020 at 4:23 pm
It is now flu season, and many of us are finding ways to counteract the effects of influenza on our health. Enter the antiviral drug Tamiflu, the second recommendation of the CDC's flu prevention and ...
- West Virginia experiencing widespread flu activityon January 17, 2020 at 8:00 pm
HUNTINGTON — West Virginia is seeing an increase in flu earlier this year than normal, said Cabell-Huntington Health Department medical director Dr. Michael Kilkenny. Typically, spikes in flu rates ...
- Washing hands, taking precautionary medicine among five major ways to stay flu-free | Opinionon January 17, 2020 at 8:17 am
Several new anti-flu medicine have come in the market in addition to oseltamivir and zanamivir. One is baloxavir which is a single dose pill costing about $150 compared to $50 for a course of ...
- Flu Leaves 4-Year-Old Iowa Girl Blind; Colorado Officials Say It’s Not Too Late To Get Vaccinatedon January 15, 2020 at 5:09 pm
It will be weeks before flu activity slows down, officials say. “Also, it’s very important to realize that if you do get the flu, starting anti-flu medications as soon as possible can help with faster ...
- Computer-based research could pave way for anti-flu drugs of the futureon September 23, 2019 at 5:28 am
From the 1,700 approved drugs tested, researchers identified an anabolic steroid used in menopausal hormone therapy as a starting point for new anti-flu drugs. The findings could be used in lab ...
- COA recommends probe of ex-GSIS chief Garcia, 9 otherson August 3, 2019 at 5:00 am
president Winston Garcia and nine other former officials of the state-pension agency in connection with the alleged anomalous procurement of anti-flu drugs in 2006 amounting to P25.132 million.
- Meagre ranks of anti-flu drugs look set to growon September 4, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Large-scale trials of a new compound show that it quickly beats back the influenza virus — results that could admit this compound to the small club of effective antiviral flu drugs. For the 2017 ...
- People’s pharmacy: Fighting off flu with Tamifluon December 12, 2017 at 1:52 am
Q. Please remind your readers that there is an effective anti-flu medicine, Tamiflu. Two days ago, I noticed a sore throat coming on, and before long I was sniffling, sneezing, coughing and ...
- Rutgers scientists discover molecules that show promise for new anti-flu medicineson October 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm
the sole orally available anti-flu drug. Arnold and his collaborators have been working to create drugs beyond Tamiflu, especially ones that target different parts of the virus, using an approach ...
- Rutgers Scientists Discover Molecules that Show Promise for New Anti-Flu Medicineson October 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm
Rutgers scientists working to create new anti-flu drugs are, from left, Joseph Bauman, Disha Patel, Eddy Arnold, Kalyan Das and Edmond LaVoie. Nick Romanenko High Res These novel compounds show ...
via Google News and Bing News