This anti-influenza therapy offers potential as anti-viral treatment as well as prevention against all major flu strains, including influenza A infection.
Broad-spectrum anti-influenza peptides have been developed to treat and prevent flu and a wider range of clinically relevant viral infections. These peptides have a novel mechanism of action, making them less likely to induce viral resistance and very effective at combatting flu.
Current anti-influenza therapy options are also restricted in efficacy by rapid viral evolution and subsequent drug resistance. Over 80% of currently circulating influenza strains are already resistant to the market leading anti-viral.
University of Edinburgh researchers have peptides that block entry of the influenza virus into the cells they would normally infect. This mode of action differentiates the technology from currently available therapies and, in doing so, facilitates potential as a combination therapy (as well as a monotherapy) and minimises, the risk of target viruses developing resistance. In a mouse model of influenza infection, viral titres were 4 logs lower in mice treated with the leading peptide compared to no treatment. In vivo and in vitro toxicological and safety studies have also been carried out.
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