UTMB professor awarded grants to develop ebola countermeasure

The University of Texas Medical Branch announced on July 31 that virologist Alex Bukreyev, a professor of pathology, was awarded two grants to develop experimental drugs against the ebola and Marburg viruses.

The two grants from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense total more than $6 million.

One of the studies undertaken by Bukreyev and his team will take an interdisciplinary approach to further develop the 1E7-03 experimental compound, which suppresses replication of the ebola virus. As Marburg is similar to ebola, it may be possible to use the compound as a universal filovirus drug.

"The team is attacking these viruses from several directions, including biochemistry and cell biology approaches to determine which compounds block replication of filoviruses best," Bukreyev said. "The current outbreak of ebola virus in Western Africa shows how helpless we are. I hope our studies will result in the development of therapeutics to effectively treat patients infected with filoviruses."

Bukreyev recently received federal funding for two other ebola and Marburg-related projects.

The current outbreak of ebola in West Africa has killed more than 850 people. Two American healthcare workers who contracted the disease are currently being treated at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

Organizations in this story

U.S. Department of Defense 2 N Rotary Rd Arlington, VA 22202

National Institutes of Health 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20892

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