Potential drug candidates for Ebola found

Washington: Scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have found new potential drug candidates for Ebola that successfully treated up to 90 per cent of mice exposed to the deadly virus.

Since December 2013, Ebola has infected more than 25,000 people and taken the lives of more than 10,000, researchers said.

Ebola drug
Representational picture

However, the US Food and Drug Administration is yet to approve any therapeutic drugs or vaccines against the virus, they said.

While some researchers are developing vaccines to prevent Ebola infections, others are focusing on treatments for the disease.

They are investigating a number of compounds, including existing malaria and flu drugs.

Rekha G Panchal from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and colleagues have been looking into possible treatments by studying a class of small molecules called diazachrysenes.

These molecules have been found in lab tests to be non-toxic and effective against the most potent bacterial toxin, botulinum neurotoxin.

They wanted to screen this family of compounds for possible anti-Ebola drug candidates.

The researchers narrowed down their search to a handful of diazachrysenes.

In their study, 70 to 90 per cent of the mice that received one of three of the experimental compounds survived infection and did not show any obvious side effects.

The finding was published in the journal ACS Infectious Diseases.

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