Lomefloxacin and erythromycin were found to be the most potent compounds in protecting mice against anthrax. Lomeflaxacin is used to treat bronchitis and urinary tract infections. Erythromycin is used against respiratory tract infections.
The most noteworthy antiviral compound identified was chloroquine which disrupted virus entry and replication in cells of two or more viruses in vitro and protected mice against Ebolavirus.
Due to the demanding complexity of working with these agents under laboratory conditions as well as the fact that human drug clinical trials cannot be ethically conducted for any of these agents, conventional drug discovery and development approaches are particularly challenging. For these agents, the FDA must evaluate the efficacy of drugs on the basis of their activities in appropriate animal models, under agency guidance. Thus, drug-repurposing offers many advantages, particularly given the fact that human safety studies have already been conducted.
Members of the Texas Biomed team are presently pursuing whether the other drugs could be equally useful for treatment of these viruses.
"It would be important to determine if a combination of drugs could be more potent than each individual drug," Davey said. "Such synergy, when seen, usually means you can lower the dose of each drug and still have a big impact on the disease while minimizing bad side effects. Such work could prove useful as an easy frontline defense against these viruses."
|Contact: Joseph Carey|
Texas Biomedical Research Institute