Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New flu drug stops drug-resistant strains of virus in its tracks

Date:
February 21, 2013
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
A new class of influenza drug has been shown effective against drug-resistant strains of the flu virus, according to a new study.

Life Cycle: This figure shows the life cycle of the flu virus and how the new flu drug agent prevents the virus from spreading from cell to cell by irreversibly inhibiting the action of the neuraminidase like a broken key stuck in a lock.
Credit: Tom Wennekes, UBC

A new class of influenza drug has been shown effective against drug-resistant strains of the flu virus, according to a study led by University of British Columbia researchers. Published online February 21 in the journal Science Express, the study details the development of a new drug candidate that prevents the flu virus from spreading from one cell to the next.

The drug is shown to successfully treat mice with lethal strains of the flu virus.

In order to spread in the body, the flu virus first uses a protein, called hemagglutinin, to bind to the healthy cell's receptors. Once it has inserted its RNA and replicated, the virus uses an enzyme, called neuraminidase, to sever the connection and move on to the next healthy cell.

"Our drug agent uses the same approach as current flu treatments -- by preventing neuraminidase from cutting its ties with the infected cell," says UBC Chemistry Prof. Steve Withers, the study's senior author. "But our agent latches onto this enzyme like a broken key, stuck in a lock, rendering it useless."

Watch a video of the flu virus at work at http://youtu.be/kSLRmj0APZw.

The World Health Organization estimates that influenza affects three to five million people globally each year, causing 250,000 to 500,000 deaths. In some pandemic years, the figure rose to millions.

"One of the major challenges of the current flu treatments is that new strains of the flu virus are becoming resistant, leaving us vulnerable to the next pandemic," says Withers, whose team includes researchers from Canada, the UK, and Australia.

"By taking advantage of the virus's own 'molecular machinery' to attach itself," Withers adds. "The new drug could remain effective longer, since resistant virus strains cannot arise without destroying their own mechanism for infection."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jin-Hyo Kim, Ricardo Resende, Tom Wennekes, Hong-Ming Chen, Nicole Bance, Sabrina Buchini, Andrew G. Watts, Pat Pilling, Victor A. Streltsov, Martin Petric, Richard Liggins, Susan Barrett, Jennifer L. McKimm-Breschkin, Masahiro Niikura, and Stephen G. Withers. Mechanism-Based Covalent Neuraminidase Inhibitors with Broad Spectrum Influenza Antiviral Activity. Science, 21 February 2013 DOI: 10.1126/science.1232552

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "New flu drug stops drug-resistant strains of virus in its tracks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130221143904.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2013, February 21). New flu drug stops drug-resistant strains of virus in its tracks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130221143904.htm
University of British Columbia. "New flu drug stops drug-resistant strains of virus in its tracks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130221143904.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Influenza Study: Meet Virus' New Enemy

Feb. 21, 2013 Virologists have discovered a new class of molecular compounds capable of killing the influenza virus. Working on the premise that too much of a good thing can be a killer, the scientists have ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins