In a breakthrough study, an experimental cancer drug has been found to act against the drug-resistant superbugs like MRSA ( Methicillin- Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) and E- coli and deadly viruses ranging from HIV to Ebola.
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) have discovered that it targets fundamental aspect of diseases, from mumps and measles to deadly bacteria. Scientists say the compound holds promise as a "universal" flu treatment and wipes out infectious bacteria that have become impregnable to conventional medicines. It breaks down the machinery of viruses and cancers in damaged cells while leaving the rest of the body unharmed.
‘Breakthrough cancer drug was found to destroy drug resistant superbugs and deadly viruses. It targets “chaperone” proteins, that protect the cancer and infected cells from breaking down. When the proteins are destroyed the cells “eat” themselves to death through an innate stress response.’
The project is backed by the US Army, which uses the drug as a last line of defence against viral epidemics such as ebola and to turn it into a weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria including MRSA and E. coli.
The drug known as AR-12 was first discovered over a decade ago at Ohio State University while experimenting with celebrex, a painkiller. The drug was clinically proven to have anti-cancer properties and could be used in tablet form to treat solid tumors. The laboratory findings have shown great results and the drug is now approved in the U.K for in clinical trials against otherwise untreatable cases of HIV and also in dealing with rare yeast and bacterial infections.
Findings published in theJournal Of Cellular Physiology
revealed that the drug hits "chaperone" proteins, which act as mufflers to stop infected or cancerous cells from breaking down and ejecting the material they need to reproduce. When these proteins are broken up, the cells "eat" themselves to death through an innate stress response. This mechanism worked against viruses of almost every type, including rabies, rubella, dengue and yellow fever. It also increased the survival rate of rabbits infected with an ebola-like hemorrhagic fever from 30 per cent to more than 60 per cent.
Arno Therapeutics, the company that owns the rights to the chemical is planning its first clinical trial as an anti-viral drug in Nottingham. A separate study showed the drug to be effective in killing off drug-resistant "super-gonorrhoea" and weakening its defences against other antibiotics. The drug is also found to be effective against almost all types of viruses such as yellow fever, dengue, rubella and rabies.