The drug called BCX 44 from BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: BCRX) showed improvement in survival rates among mice infected with the Zika virus in a preclinical study. It was tested against a placebo and an oral antiviral called ribavirin.
Two doses of the promising drug were compared with others to measure survival rates among the immune-deficient mice infected with Zika. At the end of the trial, seven out of eight mice that received the standard dose of BCXX44 survived while none of the others that received either a lower dose, the placebo or ribavirin did, as reported by Reuters.
“BCX4430 is a broad spectrum antiviral that is being tested in a Phase 1 clinical safety and pharmacology study in healthy subjects. BCX4430 has demonstrated survival benefits in nonclinical studies against a variety of serious pathogens, including Ebola, Marburg, and Yellow Fever viruses,” said the company in a statement.
Results and promises from the study will be presented at a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from this Monday, March 7 to 9, according to the Street.
The study was conducted at Utah State University, under the ongoing Animal Models of Infectious Disease Program (AMIDP) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
This program, the AMIDP, offers in vivo screening services for researchers as part of a broader suite of preclinical services supported by the NIAID. It also covers the NIAID’s infrastructure for responding to emerging infectious diseases like Zika.
Zika, an ongoing fight
Brazil’s authorities have informed recently that the Zika virus has been found in patient’s saliva and urine, making possible the transmission via fluids and adding more difficulties to stop the spread.
The virus was previously thought to be transmitted primarily from mosquito bites, but with the new findings that proved the presence of the virus in the saliva and urine, and even as the U.S. officials warned that could also be transmitted through sex and blood transfusions, prompts new worries about the health’s population.
Researchers used genetic testing to identify the Zika virus in the corporal fluids from the two patients who had previously tested positive of the virus. They concluded that the virus was active, meaning that could lead to a potential infection in a healthy person.
The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation scientists said the in the case of saliva and urine further investigation is needed, but they cannot say that there is no possibility of transmission.
“In light of the possibility of being in contact with someone who is infected, do not kiss, obviously,” Dr. Paulo Gadelha, the foundation’s president, told reporters.