Czech scientists make major Zika virus breakthrough

By BOHEMIST STAFF

PRAGUE – A group of Czech scientists in Prague have determined that they have found the “Achilles heel” of the deadly Group IV Zika virus, a critical find that could help lead to a drug to combat the risen disease, according to international media.

Working from a lab at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (IOCB) in Prague’s Dejvice district, the scientists believe that they have found a way to prevent the disease from replicating.

“Every virus needs some specific building blocks for its life cycle, for its replication which are called nucleocytes, nucleotides,” Dr. Radim Nencka, junior group leader in medicinal chemistry at the IOCB told Deutsche Welle.

“Some people have asked me how the compound will be applied, if this will be a pill or in the form of an injection. I can’t answer anything like that because we are still at the beginning,” he added. “We still need to modify the active compounds into so-called pro-drug forms. These pro-drugs should have improved pharmacological properties, should be better targeted to the organs in the body, should be slowly eliminated from the organism.”

Though encouraging, his comments seem to indicate that scientists are still a long way from establishing drugs that could either stop or cure the disease.

Bohemist

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About Bohemist

Bohemist is an upstart news outlet serving the Czech Republic. Feel free to write us at editor@bohemist.cz.

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