Tags: gene | flu | influenza | virus

New Approach to Attack flu?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012 11:33 AM

An international team of scientists is reporting progress in developing new genetic therapies that can treat and combat deadly flu epidemics.
The development, reported in the journal Nature Biotechnology, holds out promise that manufactured gene proteins may one day be used as antiviral treatments to fight influenza and other viruses by disabling key functions.
"Our most potent design has proven effective on the vulnerable sites on many pandemic influenza viruses, including several H1N1 [Spanish flu, swine flu] and H5N1 [avian flu] subtypes," said researcher Tim Whitehead, a Michigan State University engineer. "These new therapeutics are urgently needed, so we were especially pleased to see that it neutralizes H1N1 viruses with potency."
For the research, Whitehead’s team used a computer-assisted program to engineer proteins that target vulnerable areas on the viruses.
"Our work demonstrates a new approach to construct therapeutic proteins, which we hope will spur development of new protein drugs by the biopharmaceutical industry," Whitehead said.
The study was funded, in part, by the Defense Research Projects Agency, the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

© HealthDay

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Scientists are developing new genetic therapies to treat and combat deadly flu epidemics.
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 11:33 AM
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