US-based HSRx Biopharmaceutical has reported positive results from studies testing the efficacy of HSRx 431 against Zika virus.
HSRx 431 has been developed as an orally administered, broad-spectrum, antiviral drug candidate.
The screening studies conducted by SRI International in their Shenandoah Valley facilities, validated the efficacy of HSRx 431 in combating the Zika virus.
The virus is primarily transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, triggering symptoms such as mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, or headache.
HSRx CEO Thomas Sullivan Jr said: "We patented HSRx 431 alone and in combination with Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and other antivirals, enabling it to become the broad spectrum antiviral drug of choice for the early treatment and prevention of a wide variety of viral infections, including Zika, dengue, chikungunya and influenza, without the need to identify the causative agent.
“The CDC advises that millions of people are sickened, hundreds of thousands are hospitalised and tens of thousands of people die from flu every year in the US.
“Combining HSRx 431 and Oseltamivir will produce a globally needed, orally-delivered, broad-spectrum antiviral drug with long shelf life and long patent life."
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Anthony Fauci and NIAID senior scientific advisor David Morens suggested the urgency of the development of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs effective against a range of viruses instead of a one-bug-one-drug approach.
Previously conducted in vivo studies suggested the safety and efficacy of HSRx 431 against dengue and chikungunya infections.
The company is planning to start a human trial of HSRx 431 next year.
Image: Effectiveness data of HSRx 431 against Zika virus. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsFoto/HSRx Biopharmaceutical.