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Infectious disease


Viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase

Cell culture and ferret studies suggest an orally available inhibitor of Morbillivirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase could be used to treat measles. In human primary cells and cell lines infected with measles virus clinical isolates, the inhibitor showed nanomolar antiviral potency with limited cellular cytotoxicity. In ferrets intranasally infected with the Morbillivirus canine distemper virus (CDV), treatment with the oral inhibitor one day prior to infection and for the two weeks following resulted in increased survival and decreased viral load compared with vehicle treatment. In the ferret model, treatment with the oral inhibitor three days postinfection and for the following two weeks resulted in 100% survival and a 99% decrease in viral load compared with what was seen in vehicle-treated controls. Next steps include testing the compound in a nonhuman primate model of measles virus infection.

SciBX 7(19); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.561
Published online May 15, 2014

Patent applications pending; available for licensing from Emory University

Krumm, S.A. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.; published online April 16, 2014;
Contact: Richard K. Plemper, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Ga.