Treatment for Zika may be in existing drugs

After a massive screening of existing drugs, researchers at Johns Hopkins have found two classes of compounds that may work against the Zika virus.


The researchers used cells similar to the human brain, to simulate the Zika infection in two and three dimensions. PHA-69509, along with emricasan and niclosamide, all showed promising action against the Zika infection. In the study published in Nature Medicine, the two classes of drugs seen to be effective were antiviral and neuroprotective in nature.

The Zika virus mostly spreads locally through mosquitoes, or by sexual contact with an infected person. Only one of four people show symptoms, making the disease more difficult to track.


  • Where did the Zika virus originate from?
  • What is so special about the drugs that are working against Zika?
  • Should we endorse faster clinical trials to control the virus?

Xu, M., Lee, E., Wen, Z., Cheng, Y., Huang, W., Qian, X., TCW, J., Kouznetsova, J., Ogden, S., Hammack, C., Jacob, F., Nguyen, H., Itkin, M., Hanna, C., Shinn, P., Allen, C., Michael, S., Simeonov, A., Huang, W., Christian, K., Goate, A., Brennand, K., Huang, R., Xia, M., Ming, G., Zheng, W., Song, H., & Tang, H. (2016). Identification of small-molecule inhibitors of Zika virus infection and induced neural cell death via a drug repurposing screen Nature Medicine DOI: 10.1038/nm.4184

27 thoughts on “Treatment for Zika may be in existing drugs”

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