doctors have developed a new approach against the flu virus. It is an ingestible substance, the active against multiple Virus subtypes reported by an international Team in the journal "Science". The first Tests with mice and human cells had been successfully. "This is a technically great, very well-crafted work," said virologist Stephan Ludwig of the University of Münster. The approach aims, first of all, on the development of the method. To the lead to a drug, it'll take a long time.
antibody as a model
As a model for the new active substance, the researchers took the so-called broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAb), deposited on a core element of the influenza virus: the hemagglutinin. It plays an important role in the Docking and, thus, also the Penetration of the flu virus in the cells of the body. The core area of hemagglutinin in the influenza virus over many generations of influenza viruses is largely unchanged. It is, therefore, a promising target for new vaccines and drugs. Previously, flu vaccines or drugs directed against other, more variable parts of the virus envelope must be again and again to new Virus variants adapted.
Since antibodies need to be injected, and are expensive, the researchers for a cheaper Alternative with a comparable effect on the hemagglutinin. They tested to 500,000 substances, the dock exactly in the same position as the broadly neutralizing antibody, and the substance found JNJ4796, the blocked such as their anti-body-model, certain influenza viruses of type A.
of mice protects the Mediterranean against the flu death
the mice that received a lethal dose of influenza virus, survived thanks to the substance JNJ4796 the attack. It was a day and a few days after the infection. In addition, the substance turned off the flu virus in lab cultures of human bronchial cells. The scientists led by Ian Wilson of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla working together to study closely with the Dutch pharmaceutical company Janssen, which is part of the U.S. group Johnson & Johnson. They describe their study as a proof of concept.
The approach of the team to develop small molecules that simulate the functioning of the larger antibodies, was very promising and a wider usable, says Ludwig, a flu expert at the society for Virology. It was for a flu medicine is necessary, however, all of the circulating flu viruses and to fight just like here, about a third of it. This can happen either with a new substance, or with additional substances. In addition, the side effects would have to be researched better.
It is still important to be vaccinated against influenza
Although the used part of the virus protein hemagglutinin is highly conserved, can they change but certainly, what lead to drug resistance, underlines Ludwig. It have also active ingredients with other flu such as the Neuraminidase inhibitors Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) resistance. While it is good to have the Neuraminidase inhibitors, but they are not particularly effective, particularly in older people, which would Suffer further. Already on the market in Japan and the United States, a further active ingredient called Baloxavir, in the replication of the virus genome is attacking. Here, too, there is already resistance.
Ludwig sees only an approach that avoids the problem of Resistance: "You have to take advantage of the fact that all of the viruses body need cells to replicate," explains the virologist. Future agents should block the virus propagation, the necessary enzymes of the people in the cells of the body. You should at the same time, but have no serious side effects. It give first approaches were at the beginning of the clinical trial. So far, but it is in any case important to be vaccinated against influenza.More about
survey To a few people, you can be vaccinated against influenza
In Germany, were alone in the flu season 2017/18, according to estimates by the Robert Koch-Institute, nine million people due to Influenza illness to the doctor. Probably more than 20,000 people died of the consequences of the infection. Simone Humml (dpa)