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:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Yesterday, U.S. Senate Republicans ... to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Like the bill narrowly ... to Medicaid, a public health insurance program for low-income children, pregnant women, parents ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... ... The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) announced its support for the ... Col. Thomas G. Bowman. , Bowman currently serves as the staff director for the ... issues and challenges veterans face with the VA. Following a 30-year career of service ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... , ... Military Connection friend and veteran advocate Micaela Bensko and ... lounge. , Bensko is no stranger to the plight of the disabled. Before ... to supporting our wounded veterans. A world-class photographer, her riveting photos “The Wounds of ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs today announced the opening of ... SW 21st St. Topeka, Kan. 66604 (near 21st and Gage). It is owned and ... three other locations in the Topeka and Bonner Springs, Kan. area. , “Goodcents ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ensuring ... two new videos highlight the importance of correctly using a meat thermometer. The ... has done extensive research on consumer food safety habits. Dr. Bruhn explains the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/16/2017)... June 16, 2017 Datascope Corp. is voluntarily performing a worldwide ... a potential electrical test failure code.     ... PART NUMBER ... CS300 IABP 0998-UC-0446HXX; 0998-UC-0479HXX ... This field correction ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. , June 14, 2017  In ... the Creative Startups pitch competition and came ... virtual reality platform is described by Forbes as "entering ... the American Medical Association as teaching "empathy to medical ... success, the startup was recently named a finalist for ...
(Date:6/10/2017)... Burchfield, DPM, is recognized by Continental Who,s Who as a Pinnacle ... Alabama . Dr. Burchfield serves as a ... 20 years of experience, as well as expertise in the areas ... "The podiatry professional   ... welcome you to his practice," the company,s website states. "We want ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: