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!
Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns
25.07.2017 | University of Portsmouth
Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.
A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.
Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
28.07.2017 | Health and Medicine
28.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.07.2017 | Life Sciences