A series of research articles published ahead of print in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy have identified a number of existing pharmaceutical drugs and compounds under development that may offer effective therapies against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
In the first study, researchers screened a library of 290 pharmaceutical drugs, either FDA-approved or in advanced clinical development for antiviral activity against the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in cell culture. They found 27 compounds that were active against both viruses including some cancer drugs and antipsychotics.
"Repurposing of approved pharmaceutical drugs for new indications presents an attractive alternative to the normal paradigm of huge library screening against a specific viral enzyme," says author Matthew Frieman of the University of Maryland Medical School. "Given development times and manufacturing requirements for new products, repurposing of existing drugs is likely the best solution to rapidly identify therapeutics for outbreaks due to emerging viruses."
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health, the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and Zalicus Inc., Cambridge MA, were also involved in the study. A copy of the manuscript can be found online at http://bit.ly/asmtip0514e.
In the second study, researchers collaborating in the European antiviral research program SILVER used a similar methodology to screen a library of 348 FDA-approved drugs for anti-MERS-CoV activity in cell culture. They identified four compounds that inhibited MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and Human Coronavirus 229E at relatively low concentrations. Two of the compounds were also identified by the U.S. study: the antimalarial drug chloroquine and the antipsychotic chlorpromazine.
"Although their therapeutic potential (alone or in combination) remains to be assessed in animal models, our findings may offer a starting point for treatment of patients infected with zoonotic coronaviruses like MERS-CoV," says corresponding author Eric Snijder of Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands. Researchers from the Rega Institute for Medical Research in Leuven, Belgium and the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands were also involved in the study.
A copy of the manuscript can be found online at http://bit.ly/asmtip0514f.
The third and final study finds that an experimental compound, previously shown to block SARS-CoV replication, can inhibit replication of two other coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and mouse hepatitis virus.
"This study shows that it is possible to target multiple coronaviruses through broad-spectrum inhibitors," says corresponding author Stefan Sarafianos of the Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri, an author on the study. "This compound could serve as a lead for the development of effective broad-spectrum anti-coronavirus drugs."
Researchers from the University of Maryland Medical School and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine also contributed to the research. The manuscript can be found online at http://bit.ly/asmtip0514g.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy is a publication of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The ASM is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. Its mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.
Jim Sliwa | Eurek Alert!
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...
Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.
In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...
Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.
Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...
Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...
A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.
25.08.2016 | Event News
24.08.2016 | Event News
12.08.2016 | Event News
26.08.2016 | Health and Medicine
26.08.2016 | Earth Sciences
26.08.2016 | Life Sciences