Scientist find potential in old therapuetic against Ebola, anthrax

The amodiaquine molecule | Courtesy of Shutterstock

Researchers at the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) in California and several collaborators recently discovered a potential use for an older therapeutic method against emerging pathogens including the Ebola virus and anthrax.

Working with researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine and UCLA, the KGI researchers screened 1,581 drugs previously approved by the FDA before they found that amodiaquine (AQ) works as a blocking mechanism for a broad range of pathogens by inhibiting a protein commonly exploited by many deadly diseases. 

Since its discovery in 1944, AQ has been widely used against malaria infections in Africa and Asia. It is on the World Health Organization's Model List of Essential Medicine.

"Host-based therapies have the potential to block multiple pathogens without their developing drug resistance," Keck Institute Assistant Professor Mikhail Martchenko said. "Developing host therapies by repurposing existing compounds allows us to leverage decades of safety data to accelerate time to market." 

The research findings was in agreement with research being conducted at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) as well as The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The findings were published by Scientific Reports on Thursday. 

Organizations in this story

Keck Graduate Institute 535 Watson Dr Claremont, CA 91711

Stanford University School of Medicine 291 Campus Dr Palo Alto, CA 94305

Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease 1425 Porter St Frederick, MD 21702

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