A calcium channel blocker Tetrandrine, found in some Chinese and Japanese herbs, may help stop Ebola infection by preventing the virus from entering the cells of the body, revealed a new study.
Researchers conducted mice studies on several existing drugs currently used to treat high blood pressure in order to find out which small molecules were best at blocking the Ebola virus from moving any further through the cell. They found that tetrandrine protected mice from disease without obvious side effects, and appeared to be the most potent of the compounds tested.
Scientist Robert Davey said, "When we tested in mice, the drugs stopped virus replication and saved most of them from disease. We are very excited about the progress made in this study and the momentum it provides as scientists across the world vigorously search for effective vaccines and treatments against Ebola virus. We are cautiously optimistic. The next step in the process is to test both safety and effectiveness of the interaction of the drug with Ebola virus in non-human primates."
The study is published in the journal Science.