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!
R&D - Fit for future
28.04.2015 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Emotion recognition ability pays off
27.04.2015 | WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management
KAIST researchers published an article on the development of a novel technique to precisely track the 3-D positions of optically-trapped particles having complicated geometry in high speed in the April 2015 issue of Optica.
Daejeon, Republic of Korea, April 23, 2015--Optical tweezers have been used as an invaluable tool for exerting micro-scale force on microscopic particles and...
A very small and rare species of shark is swimming its way through scientific literature. But don't worry, the chances of this inches-long vertebrate biting...
Ever since computers have been small enough to be fixtures on desks and laps, their central processing has functioned something like an atomic Etch A Sketch, with electromagnetic fields pushing data bits into place to encode data.
Unfortunately, the same drawbacks and perils of the mechanical sketch board have been just as pervasive in computing: making a change often requires starting...
How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was discovered, more or less by coincidence, that cosmic rays provide suitable probes to measure electric fields within thunderclouds. This surprising finding is published in Physical Review Letters on April 24th. The measurements were performed with the LOFAR radio telescope located in the Netherlands.
How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was...
Max Planck researcher Buhalqem Mamtimin determines how much nitrogen oxide is released into the atmosphere from agriculturally used oases.
In order to make statements about current and future air pollution, scientists use models which simulate the Earth’s atmosphere. A lot of information such as...
23.04.2015 | Event News
23.04.2015 | Event News
13.04.2015 | Event News
28.04.2015 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
28.04.2015 | Earth Sciences