Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers find smallpox drug may also target adenovirus

20.05.2008
1 cause of the common cold, adenovirus also causes death in organ transplant recipients

Scientists at Saint Louis University have made two key discoveries that could lead to the first-ever human testing of a drug to target the adenovirus, which causes a number of severe upper-respiratory infections and is one of many viruses that causes the common cold.

There are currently no drugs approved specifically to treat adenovirus infections in large part because there has been no animal model in which to test drug candidates, a key prerequisite before testing in humans.

SLU researchers and their collaborators, however, have made two breakthrough findings: an animal model suitable for adenovirus testing – in this case using Syrian hamsters – and a drug that successfully attacks the adenovirus in those animals. The drug, hexadecyloxypropyl-cidofovir or CMX001, is currently under development by Chimerix, Inc. as a biodefense agent to meet the threat of smallpox or monkeypox viruses and as an antiviral agent in transplant patients.

... more about:
»Adenovirus »CMX001 »SLU »Testing »replicate »smallpox

The SLU research is published the week of May 19 in an early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“This is exciting news and a major step forward in finding a drug to treat adenovirus infections in humans,” said William Wold, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and the study’s lead author.

One of the key obstacles to finding an animal model for adenovirus testing involves the fact that the virus is generally species-specific; meaning the human version of the virus doesn’t replicate well in animals commonly used in laboratory research.

The SLU researchers, however, found that the adenovirus replicates in Syrian hamsters (also called golden hamsters) with suppressed immune systems in much the same manner as it replicates in humans whose immune systems are weakened – making Syrian hamsters ideal for animal model testing.

“We are pleased to see that CMX001, a drug candidate showing broad antiviral activity that is being developed under a federal grant for smallpox, also has potential benefit against adenovirus,” said George R. Painter, Ph.D., president and CEO of Chimerix.

Said Samuel Stanley Jr., director of the Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research (MRCE): “It is exciting to see work funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ MRCE program lead to potential new therapies for this important virus.”

There are 52 known serotypes, or strains, of adenovirus in humans. They generally cause acute upper respiratory infections including colds, tonsillitis and ear infections, but they can also cause conjunctivitis, gastroenteritis and bladder infections.

Most people are able to recover from an adenovirus infection, but in some young children and people with weakened immune systems, adenovirus infections can turn virulent and even deadly. Adenovirus can also cause disease and even death in organ transplant recipients. Severe adenovirus outbreaks have occurred among groups of military recruits likely due to crowded living conditions.

CMX001 is an oral pro-drug, or derivative, of cidofovir, a drug developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc. to treat a type of retinitis in AIDS patients. Chimerix licensed from Gilead the rights to develop CMX001.

Cidofovir has long been a possible candidate to treat a number of virus infections, including the herpes virus, poxvirus and adenovirus infections in humans. The drug, however, is quite toxic to the liver and kidneys and is not available in oral form, which limits widespread use.

Using the new animal model, the SLU researchers found that CMX001 provided protection from the adenovirus when it was administered prophylactically (before infection with the virus) or therapeutically (after infection). The scientists found that the drug worked by greatly reducing the ability of the virus to replicate in key organs, mostly notably the liver.

The SLU team also found that CMX001 was much less toxic and far more powerful than cidofovir. In addition, scientists discovered, two weeks after infection with the virus CMX001 had reduced the viral load in the liver and blood to undetectable levels.

Nancy Solomon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.slu.edu
http://www.chimerix-inc.com

Further reports about: Adenovirus CMX001 SLU Testing replicate smallpox

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins
12.11.2018 | Technische Universität Berlin

nachricht How to produce fluorescent nanoparticles for medical applications in a nuclear reactor
09.11.2018 | Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

Im Focus: Nanorobots propel through the eye

Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.

Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins

12.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Materials scientist creates fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices

12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

A two-atom quantum duet

12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>