Japanese discovery could help fight resistant flu virus

July 16th, 2009 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 16 (IANS) A discovery by Japanese scientists could foster a new genre of anti-virals that sidestep resistant flu virus problems, according to a new study.
Toshinori Sato, of Toshiba Microelectronics Engineering Lab, Japan, who led the study, noted that current antiviral drugs, including Tamiflu and Relenza, fight influenza by blocking key proteins that viruses need to reproduce.

As viruses reproduce, however, they can mutate into drug-resistant strains. They described the discovery of a new way to prevent flu viruses from infecting cells in the first place.

They identified potential drugs that can block the first step in the infection process, and demonstrated that the substances work in cell cultures, according to an American Chemical Society (ACS) release.

“These results may lead to a new approach in the design of antiviral drugs,” Sato and colleagues stated, noting that it could be used to develop new drugs for a variety of other medical problems.

These findings are slated for publication in the July 23 issue in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

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