Scientists produce new drug in fight against Ebola virus

Scientists produce new drug in fight against Ebola virus

11:14 AM, 13th August 2014
Scientists produce new drug in fight against Ebola virus
An Auburn University research team has produced a new drug candidate that could one day slow or even stop the deadly Ebola virus.

AUBURN, US: An Auburn University research team has produced a new drug candidate that could one day slow or even stop the deadly Ebola virus. The discovery will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry. The group, led by professor of chemistry and biochemistry Stewart Schneller, has designed a compound aimed at reversing the immune-blocking abilities of certain viruses, including Ebola.

“In simple terms, the Ebola virus has the ability to turn off the body’s natural immune response. We have made a small tweak in compound structure that will turn that response back on,” said Schneller.

Currently there are no drugs to combat Ebola, and the death toll from recent outbreaks in West Africa is approaching 1,000, according to the World Health Organization. Immunizations might one day lessen the virus’ impact, but vaccines have limitations that other drugs do not.

“Vaccines offer a promising therapeutic approach, but they can’t be given to everyone in a population, including the young, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. This and other factors support the need for drug therapy as we fight this disease,” said Schneller.

Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. Outbreaks have occurred primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa near tropical rainforests. It is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.

Schneller has studied Ebola for the past decade. The drug design research taking place in his laboratory has focused on combatting a variety of virus-caused infections, including Smallpox, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis C and others. More extensive studies with Schneller’s new discovery are already underway through a partnership with the National Institutes of Health.

“It’s a long process that has taken 10 years to get to this point. You think you can outsmart the virus or outsmart nature, but that does not happen. So we have to redesign. We made this one small change and it has made a dramatic difference,” said Schneller.

© Auburn University News

0 Comments

Login

Your Comments (Up to 2000 characters)
Please respect our community and the integrity of its participants. WOC reserves the right to moderate and approve your comment.

Related News


BASF’s plastic materials used to build three wheeled vehicle

LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY: With the help of BASF’s versatile plastic materials, the new three-wheeled concept vehicle 05GEN from Yamaha Motor Co Ltd ...

Read more
Scientists produce green electronic materials with synthetic biology

AMHERST, US: Scientists at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have genetically designed a new strain of bacteria that spins out extremely thin a ...

Read more
Customer demand is for sulphur-free sugar manufacturing

In an interview Ian Struggles, chief executive, Pro Tech International with Chemical Today magazine, discusses his entrepreneurial journey, facing all ...

Read more
The unorganized sector - a threat to the coolant industry

In an interview, Amresh Kumar Singh, assistant general manager (marketing), India Glycols Ltd, with Shivani Mody, Editor, Chemical Today magazine, tal ...

Read more
Fluor bags maintenance alliance contract for power plants in US

IRVING, US: Fluor Corporation has been awarded a five-year maintenance alliance contract with a Southern Company subsidiary for its North Georgia and ...

Read more
Vopak to operate Chevron’s oil terminal in US

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: Royal Vopak has entered into a long-term agreement with Chevron Corporation to manage and operate for Chevron its existing 509 ...

Read more