53 approved drugs may prevent infection by Ebola virus
Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), discovered that several cancer drugs, antihistamines and antibiotics could hinder infection by an Ebola virus, and among the most effective at keeping the virus out of human cells were microtubule inhibitors used to treat cancer.
Lead author Dr. Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, said that there was an urgent need to rapidly develop useful treatments against Ebola infection, and their study results argue that repurposing existing drugs might be among the fastest ways to achieve this. Many of the compounds identified in this study promise to become lead compounds in near-future drug development efforts studies targeting this virus.
The estimated mortality rate of the current Ebola outbreak is nearly 70 percent in many areas and there is no approved treatment for Ebola virus infection yet. Antibody-based therapy (e.g. ZMapp) has proven effective in animal studies, and has been used for the treatment of a few patients, but has not been confirmed in clinical trials. It is also expensive to make and in short supply. Ebola vaccine trials are getting underway as well, but vaccines will not be available for some time.
The study is published in the Nature Press journal Emerging Microbes and Infections. (ANI)
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