Teaching Old Drugs New Tricks
Could existing drugs be repurposed as a shortcut to treating Ebola?
Stephanie Sutton |
After testing around 2600 approved drugs and active molecular probes for activity against the Ebola virus, researchers have identified 80 FDA-approved drugs that could be promising (1). Of particular interest are bepridil, an angina treatment that is no longer sold in the US, and the antidepressant sertraline. Both drugs were able to protect against Ebola in mice – survival rates for mice infected with Ebola were 70 percent and 100 percent when treated with sertraline and bepridil, respectively. We spoke with Gene Olinger, co-author of the study and formerly a researcher at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, to find out more about the potential of drug repurposing.
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