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Anti-Microbial Agent Kills Influenza Virus

U-M Studies Show New Anti-Microbial Agent Kills Influenza Virus And Prevents Infection In Mice

SAN DIEGO---University of Michigan scientists have tested a new anti-microbial agent and found it to be a quick and efficient killer of influenza A virus in cell cultures and in the nasal passages of laboratory mice.

"These are preliminary, small-scale studies, but the results indicate this material called BCTP shows promise as a new weapon against the influenza A virus," says James R. Baker Jr., M.D., professor of internal medicine and director of the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology in the U-M Medical School. "Its main advantages are its rapid killing action, lack of specificity and the fact that it is non-toxic to skin and mucous membranes."

A milky-white emulsion of tiny lipid droplets suspended in solvent, BCTP was developed by D. Craig Wright, M.D., chief research scientist at Novavax, Inc., and president of Novavax Biologics Division. Novavax is a bio-pharmaceutical company located in Columbia, Md. According to Wright, the material is made of water, soybean oil, Triton X 100 detergent and the solvent tri-n-butyl phosphate.

In presentations at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy on Sept. 26, U-M research associates Andrzej Myc and Jon D. Reuter presented results of preliminary studies evaluating BCTP's effect on influenza A. Both research studies were funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and directed by Baker.

Myc's study used Madin Darby Canine Kidney cells, used by researchers to evaluate the toxic effects of viruses. Myc incubated MDCK cells with influenza A virus and five different formulations of Novavax lipid structures. Using two different assay techniques, Myc then measured the number of cells infected with the virus. While all five formulations slowed the spread of the virus, BCTP was the most
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Contact: Sally Pobojewski
pobo@umich.edu
(734) 647-1844
University of Michigan
26-Sep-1998


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