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'Superdrug' Against Range of Viruses Shows Promise in Animal Trials
Date:8/11/2011

er said.

Mario Stevenson, a professor of medicine and chief of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine agreed that the approach is innovative. "But there is a big difference in administering a protein to mice and doing the same protein in humans," he said. "We have learned the hard way that in going from mice to men there are many hurdles to overcome."

In addition, making these proteins is very expensive. That could make any drug out of reach for use in developing countries, where many deadly viruses -- such as dengue fever and Ebola -- are endemic and for which there are no current treatments, Stevenson said.

Stevenson is also concerned that there may be adverse affects in human not yet anticipated or seen in mice or even in human cells. "This happens with a lot of proteins introduced into the circulation," he said.

However, if all the problems can be overcome, then "it could be incredibility important," he added.

More information

For more information on viruses, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Todd Rider, Ph.D., senior staff scientist, Lincoln Laboratory, Chemical, Biological, and Nanoscale Technologies Group, MIT, Boston; Mario Stevenson, Ph.D., professor, medicine, and chief, division of infectious diseases, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; July 27, 2011, PLoS One, online


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