Influenza A Antiviral




  A virulent pandemic of the influenza virus is brewing in Earth's bird population and could spread to humans rapidly, killing as many as 10% of the world population in just a few months' time. We would be without defense. Nefarious governments could produce a virulent strain in the lab to do the same thing, and governments world-wide consider influenza among the top 10 bioterrorist threats.
  The Busath Lab has been working since 2000 on the function of one of the influenza proteins, a proton channel known to be blockable by small drugs, and since 2011 on developing new drugs with the hope of inventing one that is inescapable. This research has led so far to presentations at scientific conferences (BPS 2012, BPS 2013, ENC 2013, ICAR 2014, BPS 2015, JMMC 2015, and UCUR 2016), articles (J.Med.Chem. 2014, J.Phys.Chem.2014, J.Phys.Chem. 2015, and BMC Genetics 2015), and three patent applications.  
 New experimental data obtained in collaboration with Dr. Roger Harrison shows that, by targeting the almost perfectly conserved His37 selectivity filter with metal ions triply-coordinated with drugs previously known to block the channel, we can stop the flu, and we believe it will be a knock-out punch that the virus cannot escape through its usual genome mutation. 
  However, many challenges have yet to be overcome to make such a drug useful to people. These include proving the drugs to be non-toxic and effective against the flu in animals and then both non-toxic and effective in humans.
  The clock is ticking for us and we are giving our best effort to making such drugs useful (hear a recent interview). You are welcomed to help support the undergraduate and graduate research that is focused on this (see below).
  At the same time, we are working on simpler methodologies that could be commercialized for distribution in a Flu-Kit (call or email Dr. Busath if you are interested to know more).