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Source: Thailand Medical News  Jan 31, 2020  3 years ago
Swiss And British Researchers Develop New Broad-Spectrum Antiviral From Sugar That Can Be Used For Coronaviruses
Swiss And British Researchers Develop New Broad-Spectrum Antiviral From Sugar That Can Be Used For Coronaviruses
Source: Thailand Medical News  Jan 31, 2020  3 years ago
Swiss Researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) in collaboration with British researchers have modified sugar molecules so that they are capable, by simple contact, of destroying viruses, without toxicity to humans. This new broad-spectrum antiviral could apply, for example, to the new 2019-nCoV coronavirus in China.

Typically, so-called "virucidal" substances, such as bleach, destroy viruses by simple contact, but they cannot be applied to the human body without causing serious damage, noted the UNIGE in a statement.
A majority of today's antiviral drugs work by inhibiting the growth of viruses but are incapable of destroying them. Complicating matters, they are not always reliable: viruses can mutate and become resistant to such treatments.
Dr Caroline Tapparel Vu, a Professor in the department of microbiology and molecular medicine of UNIGE who led the research effort along with Dr Francesco Stellacci, a Professor at the faculty of engineering sciences and techniques of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL) told Thailand Medical News, "To get around these two obstacles and be able to effectively fight against viral infections, we found an entirely different angle of attack.”
Medical researchers had previously produced a gold-based antiviral. Applying the same concept, they have this time succeeded in developing an antiviral using natural glucose derivatives, called cyclodextrins.
Dr Samuel Jones, a co-researcher at the University of Manchester who has been working with the team from UNIGE further commented, "The advantages of cyclodextrins are numerous: even more biocompatible than gold, and easier to use. They do not trigger a resistance mechanism and are not toxic."
Dr Valeria Cagno of UNIGE further elaborated, "In addition, cyclodextrins are already widely used, particularly in the food industry, which would facilitate the marketing of pharmaceutical treatments using them."
The specially modified sugar molecules attract viruses before irreversibly inactivating them. By disrupting the outer layer of the virus, they manage to destroy infectious particles by simple contact, instead of only blocking viral growth.
More significantly, this mechanism seems to work regardless of the virus concerned. Scientists have been able to demonstrate this on viruses responsible for respiratory and herpes infections.
A legal patent has been filed and a spin-off created to study the pharmaceutical development that could be made with this discovery. The cyclodextrins could be administered as a cream, gel or nasal spray.
Although drugs for specific viruses, such as HIV or hepa titis C, exist, they only have a narrow application. The development of new broad-spectrum antivirals is considered essential, especially to tackle the most devastating viruses or emerging viruses against which there is no treatment.
This new research development work, according to the authors, could then have a global impact. The compound may also be effective against new emerging viruses like the the novel coronavirus that started in China and spread overseas.
Reference: Modified cyclodextrins as broad-spectrum antivirals
Samuel T. Jones, Valeria Cagno, Matej Janeček, Daniel Ortiz,  Natalia Gasilova, Jocelyne Piret, Matteo Gasbarri, David A. Constant, Yanxiao Han, Lela Vuković, Petr Král, Laurent Kaiser, Song Huang, Samuel Constant, Karla Kirkegaard, Guy Boivin, Francesco Stellacciand Caroline Tapparel, Science Advances  29 Jan 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 5, eaax9318, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax9318


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