Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar     Subscribe     Contact Us    


New Antiviral Drug Inhibits Epidemic SARS, MERS & More


 

A new antiviral drug candidate inhibits a broad range of coronaviruses, including the SARS and MERS coronaviruses, a multi-institutional team of investigators recently reported in Science Translational Medicine. The findings support further development of the drug candidate for treating and preventing current coronavirus infections and potential future epidemic outbreaks.

Coronaviruses are a genetically diverse family of viruses that infect birds and mammals, with most coronavirus strains limited to infecting only certain hosts. Human coronaviruses, for example, cause up to 30 percent of common colds.

In the last 15 years, however, coronaviruses have demonstrated their ability to jump into new species. Zoonotic (animal) coronaviruses have infected humans, causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe diseases with high mortality rates ranging from 10 percent for SARS to 40 percent for MERS. The MERS-coronavirus continues to cause new infections in the Middle East.

"There's a real concern that the MERS coronavirus could escape broadly when millions of people visit Saudi Arabia for the Hajj," Mark Denison, MD, the Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics and professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said of the event happening at the beginning of September. But to date, there has been no effective antiviral drug for any known coronavirus, he noted.

Denison and his team at Vanderbilt have studied the basic biology of coronaviruses for more than 20 years. In an effort to find chemical tools that would allow them to probe viral replication, graduate student Brett Case screened a series of compounds selected and provided by Gilead Sciences. Case demonstrated that one of the compounds was highly active against coronaviruses in cultured cells. The finding was a surprise, Denison said, because compounds in the same class (nucleoside analogs) have normally failed to inhibit coronavirus replication. The compound, called GS-5734, is currently in clinical development for treatment of Ebola virus disease.

Denison's longtime collaborator Ralph Baric, PhD, at the University of North Carolina and his team demonstrated that GS-5734 inhibits SARS-coronavirus and MERS-coronavirus replication in multiple in vitro systems, including cultures of primary human airway epithelial cells, which are the cells infected by respiratory coronaviruses. The researchers also showed that GS-5734 was effective against a circulating human coronavirus, bat coronaviruses, and bat coronaviruses that are considered "pre-pandemic" because they can infect cultured human cells.

Using a mouse model of SARS, the investigators demonstrated that both prophylactic and early therapeutic administration of GS-5734 reduced viral load in the lungs and improved respiratory functions. "This compound shows broad activity against a variety of human and animal coronaviruses and represents an exciting potential therapeutic for a family of viruses prone to emergence from animal reservoirs," Denison said.

Denison and his team at Vanderbilt will continue to use the compound "as a probe to try to understand the biology of the virus, how and why this drug works, and to identify new targets for inhibiting coronaviruses," he said.

"This is an exciting example of how pursuing fundamental research to understand the mechanisms of virus replication and pathogenesis can lead to an important compound with therapeutic potential."

WEB:
The Denison Lab at Vanderbilt
Science Translational Medicine Article

 
Share:

Related Articles:


Recent Articles

VUMC Joins International Effort to Speed Vaccine Development

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) has joined an international effort to streamline and accelerate development of vaccines and other treatments against a growing worldwide surge of deadly and debilitating viral infections.

Read More

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander on legislation he introduced this week to lower the cost of health care

There's one question I hear almost every day from Tennesseans, and it is, "What are you doing to lower the cost I pay for health care?"

Read More

So excited to spend the morning celebrating the Women to Watch Class of 2019

Read More

Alexander: Bipartisan Legislation Will Lower What Americans Pay Out of Their Own Pockets for Health Care

The Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019 contains nearly three dozen proposals from at least 16 Republican, 14 Democrat senators

Read More

If You Build It, They Will Come

Middle Tennessee's healthcare options continue to expand through new construction and facility renovations and additions.

Read More

Lease, Build, Buy, Sell: Finding the Best Fit for Each Medical Practice

When it comes to medical real estate, there is no one 'right' answer for every practice. Instead, experts say it's important to understand all the options before making a decision that impacts individual physicians, the practice ... and ultimately, patients.

Read More

Dr. Jerry Tannenbaum: Redefining, Redesigning Nephrology

Innovative building models and telemedicine mean better care for patients nationwide.

Read More

Wayfinding in Healthcare

With expansions, renovations and additions to healthcare facilities over time, the ability to easily navigate a campus is often lost along the way. Taking time to consider wayfinding can vastly improve the way patients, visitors and staff engage with the environment.

Read More

Building Walls

Steve Ward & Associates prefab headwalls mean more savings, options for healthcare clients.

Read More

LipiFlow®: Advanced Procedure to Treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction & Chronic Dry Eye

In-office procedure can promote eyelid health and provide relief from dry eye.

Read More

Email Print
 
 

 

 


Tags:
Antiviral Drug Candidate, Brett Case, Coronavirus, GS-5734, Mark Denison, MERS, Ralph Baric, SARS, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, VUMC
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: