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Peptide Mimics as a Drug Target for Ebola

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Protein Technologies has announced that researchers at the University of Utah have developed an innovative use of peptide mimics as drug target surrogates to develop new treatments for Ebola.

A large collaborative team led by Debra Eckert, Ph.D., research assistant professor of biochemistry, and Michael S. Kay, M.D., Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, have identified a peptide sequence that is conserved in all known species of Ebola and is thought to control the virus’ entry into human cells. This peptide mimic can be used as a target to identify new drug treatments to control the Ebola virus.

“The use of peptide mimics as drug targets played a key role in the development of treatments for HIV, and we believe this approach can be applied to the treatment of Ebola,” said Dr. Kay. “The Prelude™ system from Protein Technologies enabled us to quickly design and optimize the synthesis of the peptide mimics of the ebolavirus N-trimer.”

“The research being performed in Dr. Kay’s laboratory on the Prelude parallel peptide synthesizer has broad implications for treating individuals affected by the Ebola virus,” said Nate Cosper, Ph.D., President and CEO of Protein Technologies. “Many of our collaborators and partners are developing peptides for use as therapeutic treatments, and we are encouraged by this use of a peptide mimic as a drug discovery tool.”

The Prelude is a six-channel, parallel peptide synthesizer that has been designed to facilitate incorporation of proprietary or unusual monomers, which makes it easier for researchers to prepare long or difficult peptides and peptide mimics.