This week in therapeutics




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Infectious disease

Viral infection

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In vitro and mouse studies identified membrane-intercalating photosensitizers that could help treat viral infections. In vitro studies showed that the previously identified viral fusion inhibitor LJ001 is a light-activated, membrane-intercalating photosensitizer that catalyzes the oxidation of unsaturated phospholipids in viral membranes. Follow-up SAR studies led to the identification of oxazolidine-2,4-dithiones with 100-fold increases for in vitro potency and 10- to 100-fold increases in bioavailability over LJ001. In mice challenged with a lethal dose of Rift Valley fever virus, two of the three lead oxazolidine-2,4-dithiones increased survival times compared with no treatment. Next steps could include testing the lead oxazolidine-2,4-dithiones in additional models for viral infection (see Lou, K.-J., SciBX 3(8);

SciBX 619); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.471
Published online May 16, 2013

Patent application filed; licensing status unavailable

Vigant, F. et al. PLoS Pathog.; published online April 18, 2013;
Contact: Benhur Lee, University of California, Los Angeles, Calif.