Navigation Links
UT Southwestern researchers develop new strategy for broad spectrum anti-viral drugs
Date:11/23/2008

DALLAS Nov. 23, 2008 Bavituximab, an anti-viral drug developed by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers, shows promise as a new strategy to fight viral diseases, including potential bioterrorism agents.

In a study appearing in the December issue of Nature Medicine, groups of guinea pigs infected with a virus similar to Lassa fever virus recovered from the fatal disease when treated with bavituximab alone or in combination with a common anti-viral medication. Bavituximab treatment also cured mice infected with cytomegalovirus, an opportunistic infection that afflicts transplant and AIDS patients.

Dr. Philip Thorpe, professor of pharmacology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study, proposed that phosphatidylserine, a lipid molecule that is normally positioned on the internal surface of a cell, flips to the outside of the cell when the cell is infected by a virus. His laboratory developed bavituximab, which binds to phosphatidylserine on the infected cells. Dr. Thorpe, holder of the Serena S. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Cancer Immunopharmacology, predicted that this interaction would muster the body's immune cells to attack and destroy the infected cells before the virus has a chance to replicate.

"When injected into the bloodstream, bavituximab circulates in the body until it finds these inside-out lipids and then binds to them," said Dr. Thorpe. "In the case of virus infection, the binding raises a red flag to the body's immune system, forcing the deployment of defensive white blood cells to attack the infected cells."

In the study, half of the guinea pigs infected with a virus similar to the Lassa fever virus were cured when bavituximab was administered alone. This is the first report of a therapeutic treatment being effective against advanced Lassa-like fever infections in animals. Lassa fever is an endemic disease in portions of West Africa, where the Lassa virus is carried by rats. As a hemorrhagic fever virus, Lassa is listed as a Category A bioterrorism agent the same class as the Ebola and Marburg viruses by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a second experiment, researchers administered both bavituximab and the anti-viral medication ribavirin. Ribavirin works by a different mechanism than bavituximab; it stops virus replication in the cell. With this combination therapy, 63 percent of guinea pigs survived.

Dr. Melina Soares, instructor of pharmacology at UT Southwestern and lead author of the Nature Medicine study, said, "As viruses mutate, they become more resistant to existing anti-viral drug therapies. Using bavituximab to attack a lipid target could prove to be a new and effective strategy for treating virus infections."

Dr. Thorpe said that because phosphatidylserine on virus-infected cells is host-derived and independent of the virus, drug-resistance should be less problematic.

"This approach reduces the ability of the virus to escape attack by a drug," he said. "Viruses often dodge drugs by mutating into a different form that the drug is ineffective against. Host cells are a more immutable target."

Bavituximab is currently in clinical trials to treat patients with hepatitis C. The trials have shown that treatment is safe for patients, and researchers are reporting a reduction in their blood-virus load.

UT Southwestern researchers have found that phosphatidylserine flipping occurs in cells infected with influenza, the herpes simplex virus and viruses in the families of the small pox and rabies viruses. Other researchers have shown that this also occurs in HIV.

"It could very well be that this is a generic feature of enveloped viruses," Dr. Soares said. "It could lead to a new, broad spectrum anti-viral treatment."


'/>"/>

Contact: Connie Piloto
connie.piloto@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Cancer requires support from immune system to develop, UT Southwestern researchers report
2. Vaginal/Caesarean combo delivery of twins safe, UT Southwestern-led research finds
3. Steroids aid recovery from pneumonia, UT Southwestern researchers say
4. Superbug breast infections controllable in nursing mothers, UT Southwestern researchers find
5. UT Southwestern scientists discover leptin can also aid type 1 diabetics
6. Tiny molecule helps control blood-vessel development, UT Southwestern researchers find
7. UT Southwestern launches study of surgical option for treating diabetic and other neuropathies
8. UT Southwestern: Hidden facial cheek fat compartments are key to youthful appearance
9. UT Southwestern surgeons complete first single-incision lap-band surgery in Texas
10. Fireflies glow helps UT Southwestern researchers track cancer drugs effectiveness
11. UT Southwestern faculty members named Howard Hughes investigators
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UT Southwestern researchers develop new strategy for broad spectrum anti-viral drugs
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... A ... use of the HyProCure sinus tarsi implant. ( http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/banned-quebec-dentist-pierre-dupont-working-as-chiropodist-in-ottawa-1.3515494 ) The ... minimally invasive procedure performed, when indicated, to correct the partial displacement of ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... New York (PRWEB) , ... April 30, 2016 , ... ... Dobbs Ferry campus. The following programs will be expanding due to high demand: ... (HRM). The expansion will begin this summer. , School of Business ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... , announces the addition Onnit brand Alpha BRAIN and New Mood Daily-Stress Formula ... brain and mood optimization products to the store is just one more way ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Dr. Bernie Siegel, ... seller "LOVE, MEDICINE and MIRACLES") addresses touchy topics related to Death live on ... . Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of a plethora of essential books-to-read for ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... A new ... with severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia have better survival rates if surgery is performed ... (CDH)—a condition where the diaphragm fails to form completely, letting abdominal organs into ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016  The blood testing market in ... to Kalorama Information and The Freedonia Group in a ... acid testing.  The healthcare research firm said that ... blood collection stations and in improving testing at the ... report, Blood Testing Market in China ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 Dr. Vivek ... and Ste phen Schmidt ... a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for life sciences, today ... to bring a wealth of insight to a growing business.  This ... George Phillips joined ArisGlobal in the position ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016  ValGenesis, Inc., the market leader ... today announced that a prominent world provider ... chronic kidney failure has selected ValGenesis Validation ... validation process. The global medical device manufacturer ... manage their validation processes electronically. Upon completion ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: