Comprehensive coverage

Researchers at MIT have developed a technique to cure a wide variety of viral diseases

The drug eliminates infected cells and does not harm healthy cells. So far, 15 types of viruses have been tested and all of them have been killed by the drug, including influenza and polio viruses.

Dr. Todd Ryder, MIT, developed the antiviral drug DRACO. Photo PR: MIT
Dr. Todd Ryder, MIT, developed the antiviral drug DRACO. Photo PR: MIT

Viral pathogens pose a serious threat to human health. To name just a few clinical viruses such as AIDS or jaundice, new viruses, such as avian or swine flu, extremely deadly viruses such as Ebola or smallpox that may be used in biological terrorist attacks, prevention can only be used and usually there is no cure. Even if there are, they are very specific for a certain virus and are not effective against strains that have developed resistance, and some drugs also cause harmful side effects.

As part of the PANACEA project (literally - miracle drug Pharmacological Augmentation of Nonspecific Anti-pathogen Cellular Enzymes and Activities) researchers from Lincoln Laboratory at MIT developed a new broad approach known as DRACO _ Double-stranded RNA [dsRNA] Activated Caspas Oligomerizer). DRACO encourages cell suicide in cells containing dsRNA of any kind, quickly killing sick cells without harming healthy cells. As a result, DRACO may be effective against almost all viruses, stopping viral infection while minimizing the impact on the patient.

Dr. Todd Ryder, senior scientist in the chemistry, biology and nanotechnology group of the laboratory, developed PAMACEA and the drug DRACO and worked with him Scott Wick, who is responsible for the production of DRACO, Christina Zook, who is responsible for the experiments on cells, Tara Butcher, who is responsible for the experiments on mice, and Jennifer Penscott and Benjamin Sussman who performed additional experiments.

In an article published this week in the journal PLoS ONE, DRACO was shown to be effective against 15 viruses tested, including rhinoviruses, strains of the H1N1 flu virus, adenoviruses, the stomach virus reovirus, poliovirus, dengue virus, and several members of the hemorrhagic fever virus family. and bunyavirus.. DRACO treatment was also demonstrated to be non-toxic in 11 different cell types from different animal species (humans, mice, monkeys) and different organs (heart, lung, liver, kidney). In addition, the experiments demonstrated that DRACO is not only non-toxic to mice but can also save a mouse infected with a lethal concentration of the influenza virus. As of now, the team is performing tests on various viruses in mice, which also promise good results.

"According to Dr. Ryder, although additional comprehensive tests are needed, it can already be determined that DRACO has the potential to revolutionize the treatment and prevention of almost all viral diseases, including Ebola, and will be particularly useful against outbreaks of new viruses or virus mutations exist as was the case with the SARS virus - the severe respiratory syndrome - in 2003.

13 תגובות

  1. A revolution for sure.
    The only question is whether this technique will be able to stand the test of natural selection (in the not too distant future for sure).
    By the way, how is the encouragement of the suicide of the infected cells carried out practically?

  2. This is a revolution, in my opinion, because potentially the tools have been found to defend against new viruses, which is the main problem today. Today, researchers deal with a new virus only after it has begun to spread.
    It is not possible to defend against a new virus in advance (too many unpredictable variables). So it can prevent a pandemic similar to that of bird flu and the like.

    But again, there are many viruses that do not have dsRNA pre-cursors, such as for example DNA viruses (the herpes family, hepatitis B, AIDS, etc.). And so this is a partial revolution (because as I said, the body already has a natural mechanism against unnatural forms in the cell of dsRNA).

  3. Friend, I'm not a scientist, but isn't this a revolution in the field of medicine?

  4. I suggest reading the original article, as the translation here does not explain the really interesting issue - how the new drug actually works.

  5. As long as the medicine has not been tried on a whole and healthy person, there is nothing to talk about as a "medicine". Don't forget that cyanide also destroys infected cells.

  6. A. Ben Ner,

    You're wrong, there are quite a few antiviral drugs. It is true that, as with any disease, there is no 100% cure, but it is also impossible to claim that the above-mentioned medicine is the first.

  7. This is a real coup.
    Until today, there was no antiviral drug.
    The potential future danger in widespread use of antiviral drugs
    is that this will damage the natural immune system....the troubles of the future.

  8. As long as the drugs have not been tested on humans or on human tissues, there is no value in advertising.
    There is no value to experiments on animals, they do not predict that the drug will indeed work in humans as well and sometimes even causes that drugs that are good for humans are rejected because they failed in animals.
    For example: Aspirin, if it had been tested today, it would have been disqualified because it is a gene for malformations in embryos of various species of animals. The fact that it is used is because it came into use before animal experiments became the norm.

  9. Already today there is a natural mechanism in the body against dsRNA, because it is a product that is not natural for the body.
    I mean, in other words, DRACO will only assist him with the mechanism that already exists?

    And not all viruses create an intermediate product of dsRNA... It even seems to me that this is a small group that does.
    So it does not respond to all other viruses. So it's nice... but not beyond. If I understood correctly.

Leave a Reply

Email will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismat to prevent spam messages. Click here to learn how your response data is processed.