Auburn University scientists develop drug for Ebola virus - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Auburn University scientists develop drug for Ebola virus

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A new Auburn drug could be used to help treat Ebola, the school announced Thursday. A new Auburn drug could be used to help treat Ebola, the school announced Thursday.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY -

Scientists from Auburn University have produced a new drug that may one day be used against the deadly Ebola virus.  The discovery will be soon be published in the journal Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry. 

The Auburn research team is led by professor of chemistry and biochemistry Stewart Schneller.  He says the new drug is aimed at reversing the immune-blocking abilities of certain viruses including Ebola.  "In simple terms, the Ebola virus has the ability to turn off the body's natural immune response," according to Schneller.  "We have made a small tweak in compound structure that will turn that response back on."

Currently there are no drugs to combat Ebola.  The death toll from recent outbreaks in West Africa is approaching 1,000 according to the World Health Organization. The disease is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.

Schneller has studied Ebola for the past decade.  The drug design research taking place in his laboratory has focused on combating a variety of virus-caused infections, including Smallpox, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis C and others.

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