Navigation Links
Computers to be used to find blueprint for new influenza drug

Researchers at the University of Bath have won a £261,000 grant to use the latest software to produce a blueprint of a designer drug that could stop influenza and some other diseases from replicating in humans.

The announcement of the grant comes at a time when fears are rising that an influenza outbreak developing from Asian chickens could kill thousands of people.

Professor Ian Williams, of the Department of Chemistry, will begin work in April on a project that could help pharmaceutical companies develop a better drug that could be taken by people coming down with flu to stop the disease developing.

The drug would work by being chemically very similar to part of the protective coating around the cells in our throats that the flu virus first attacks when a person becomes infected. The flu virus would be deceived into attacking the drug, called an inhibitor, instead of the cells.

The three-year project will be largely carried out by examining the behaviour of atoms of the influenza virus which attack cells, and atoms of the throat cells that are attacked. By using advanced software to model the way these atoms behave in highly complex interactions, the atomic structure of a suitable drug can be worked out.

Using computer modelling in this way can be of great assistance in drug design. Normally drugs are produced by trial and error in a process that can take many years.

Professor Williams and his colleague Dr Gus Ruggiero will use part of the grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council to buy computers with a combined power many times that of the most advanced desktop machines.

This will be the first time the software, developed in Germany, will have been used in Britain. It will allow accurate modelling of the behaviour of tens of thousands of atoms, many times more sophisticated than previous work.

“Developing a blueprint for a new way of fighting influenza is a very important task," said Professor Williams.

“We often think of flu as just a nasty illness which puts us in bed for a few days. But some outbreaks can cause death on a large scale ?the world-wide outbreak in 1918 killed more people than the First World War itself. We may now be facing another flu outbreak, this time originating from chickens in Asia.

“If we are successful, we will have taken important steps in finding a new way of fighting influenza and other diseases. It will then be for the pharmaceutical companies to take our blueprint and turn it into a drug.?/p>

Professor Williams said that his work is a more sophisticated development from similar modelling which produced two anti-influenza drugs, Relenza and Tamiflu, whose effectiveness is limited.

He and Dr Ruggiero will study sialidases, enzymes used by the flu virus to snip off a special type of sugar, sialic acid, from the throat cell, allowing the virus to enter the cell and reproduce.

The new drug would be chemically similar to the sialic acid, but would act to inhibit the sialidase. This would hinder the virus from entering the cells, and from leaving them should they gain entry, thereby controlling the spread of the infection.

Because of similarities between the enzymes used by different viruses and bacteria, a similar approach may also be useful in fighting other diseases such as the South American sleeping sickness, Chagas Disease.


'"/>

Source:University of Bath


Related biology news :

1. Computers close in on protein structure prediction
2. Computers to save unique type of American red squirrel
3. Biologists determine genetic blueprint of social amoeba
4. Less virulent strains of avian influenza can infect humans
5. Drug resistant avian influenza viruses more common in Southeast Asia than North America
6. New vaccine platform may fight infections with causes from influenza to bioterrorism
7. First big influenza genome study reveals flu evolution
8. Web model of influenza-host lifecycles will aid scientists in creating anti-viral drugs
9. New influenza vaccine takes weeks to mass produce
10. Study outlines genetic differences between potential pandemic influenza strains
11. Avian influenza virus in mammals spreads beyond the site of infection to other organ systems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017 Former 9/11 Commission ... Judiciary Committee, Janice Kephart of Identity Strategy ... Donald Trump,s "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation ... 27, 2017):  "As President Trump,s ,Travel Ban, ... has now essentially banned the travel ban, it is ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... YORK , Feb. 7, 2017 Report Highlights ... The ... should reach $11.4 billion by 2021, growing at a compound ... Includes - An overview of the global markets for synthetic ... 2015, estimates for 2016, and projections of compound annual growth ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... February 7, 2017 Ipsidy Inc. ... Corporation [OTC: IDGS], ("Ipsidy" or the "Company") a provider ... processing services, is pleased to announce the following changes ... Effective January 31, 2017, Philip D. Beck ... CEO and President.  An experienced payment industry professional and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017  OncoSec Medical Incorporated ... immunotherapies, will host a Key Opinion Leader event to ... an oral and poster presentation at the upcoming 2017 ... The KOL event will be held in-person and via ... EST / 9:00 AM PST at the Lotte New ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... JOSE, Calif. , Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... exclusive license for two key immunotherapy technologies from ... first technology provides a method to monitor a ... such as PD-L1 and CTLA-4.  The second license ... if a patient is likely to have an ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... today that in a published evaluation of multiple immunoassay-based threat detection technologies ... of Energy Laboratory, PathSensors’ CANARY® biosensor threat detection technology was found to ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Aviva Systems Biology Corporation (ASB) which ... GenWay Biotech Incorporated, a protein solutions and applications ... for both the research and diagnostic markets. ... capabilities for both entities. GenWay,s 18 years of experience ... complement ASB,s objective to become a leading provider ...
Breaking Biology Technology: