New drug ebola may originate from Bangalore, India

New drug for ebola may originate from Bangalore, India

8:19 AM, 20th December 2014
New drug for ebola may originate from Bangalore, India
Ebola virus. (C) cdv.gov

BANGALORE, INDIA: India may well be the place where the drug to fight the killer Ebola virus originates, with two drug candidates discovered in Bangalore among the first 20 to be evaluated in the UK for efficacy against deadly virus. Efforts are on world over, including the UK, to create compounds and molecules that can fight Ebola, but Bangalore’s contribution will make India the only developing nation to have done any serious work.

The two novel compounds or drug candidates have been developed by Dr Jayanta Haldar from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) and two of his students - Chandra Dhish Ghosh and Mohini Mohan Konai. Haldar has been working on drugs that can fight drug-resistant virus, bacteria and other parasites.

“The two Indian drug candidates which we’ve codenamed NCK-8 and D-LANA-14 are lead candidates from two classes of peptide mimics (a molecule global researchers have created to fight the virus) with high activity against a range of multi-drug resistant bacteria and malarial parasites, including clinical isolates,” said Haldar.

Stating that he cannot disclose the exact materials used in NCK-8 and D-LANA given that they are “novel discoveries.” “They are made in three steps with easily available and inexpensive starting materials which do not require any difficult conditions for synthesis,” said Haldar.

“Currently there is a lot of interest on peptide mimics. We hope to work with Public Health England  PHE over time to evaluate and develop all our anti-microbial mimics, including these two lead candidates that have entered the first round of screening against Ebola,” said Haldar.

“The in-vitro tests will begin mid-January next year. We’ll need about 2.5-3 months to see how it is working, following which the in-vigo tests will begin, which will be followed by clinical studies and talks with pharmaceutical companies,” said Haldar.

Supported by an award from the Wellcome Trust, Public Health England (PHE) scientists are evaluating potential treatment options in their high-containment laboratories at Porton Down, Wiltshire, to determine the most viable candidates for further development.

“We have a track record of scientific innovation and development, and this funding from Wellcome Trust will allow us to utilise our experience and expertise to assist in the fight against Ebola,” said Dr Seshadri Vasan, Senior Business Development Manager, PHE who is one of the co-investigators of the project.

Dr Jayanta Haldar seems to have made it a full time job to fight drug-resistant virus, bacteria, parasites among other things that spread infections.

 

© TimesOfIndia News

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