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Ibuprofen and Toremifene can disable the Ebola virus

1 July 2016

Ibuprofen and Toremifene can disable the Ebola virus

The painkiller ibuprofen and the cancer drug toremifene can disable the Ebola virus, say researchers.

The UK’s national synchrotron facility, Diamond Light Source, was used by scientists to study the virus in amazing detail

They revealed that both of the drugs have the capability to bind to the main part of Ebola that the virus uses to infect cells.

However, the public is warned that this process is just the starting point to researching the development of a more effective drug.

The synchrotron accelerates electrons until they produce very intense light.

This can be used to analyse the atomic make-up of objects at a much greater resolution than traditional microscopes.

The focus of the researchers was a protein on the surface of the Ebola virus that allows it to infect a cell.

Prof Dave Stuart, from the University of Oxford said that "This is the main target on the viral surface, this is the one responsible for attaching to the cell, it's the key protein to understand,"

The structure, which has been reported in the journal Nature, can already be used to design new drugs.

At this time there are no drugs that can guarantee a change to the course of an Ebola infection. The outbreak in west Africa, where 28,616 people were estimated to have been infected and 11,310 died, called for the need for new mesicines.

Prof Stuart said that: "They destabilise the protein. It [the protein] has one shot at it, and if it doesn't hit the target then those viruses would be inactivated.

"It's unlikely these compounds, as they are now, would be useful drugs for Ebola," Prof Stuart said.

"For an effective drug, you would want to increase the binding strength significantly.

"But seeing how they bind could allow stronger binding compounds to be developed using standard techniques."

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