Zhejiang doctor contributes to potential Zika treatment

(ezhejiang.gov.cn) Updated : 2016-09-14


Dr. Xu Miao [Photo from zjol.com]

A doctor from Zhejiang is taking part in vital research towards finding a treatment for Zika virus, with the results from her latest studies appearing in "Nature Medicine" on Aug 29.

Dr. Xu Miao, from Zhejiang Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, has traveled to the United States to further her research at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

The Zika virus, which poses a global health threat, has been reported in 60 countries and territories worldwide, and there are currently no vaccines or effective drug treatments.

Since March 2016, NCATS has worked collaboratively with Johns Hopkins University and Florida State University. Different from scientists seeking to develop new medicines, Xu and her partners looked for other ways and succeeded in finding three effective compounds from more than 6,000 known drugs. 

After three months' research, Xu and her partners discovered three drugs: emricasan, niclosamide, andcyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) – which together help to prevent cell death and stop the virus spreading. So far, these compounds are effective in three strains of Zika – African, Asian and Puerto Rican.

It is a new use for known drugs, Xu said, however, it still requires animal and clinical tests before it to be used for Zika treatment. She also anticipated that niclosamide may be the first drug adopted for clinical treatment of Zika.