Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Research identifies potential therapeutic treatment for Monkeypox

Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have discovered a potential topical therapeutic agent to treat monkey pox through biomolecular research and testing. The research stems from years of research into the structures of viruses such as Zika, dengue, herpes, coronaviruses and hepatitis. The previous research and expertise in the interaction of virus proteins and polysaccharides, including existing drugs, aided researchers in the rapid discovery of a potential therapeutic agent. The work is in the initial stage; however, the researchers believe that because the drugs used in the work are FDA-approved, there would be a fast track for clinical testing and possible approval as monkeypox therapy. This topical research was recently published in Molecules (Shi, D.; He, P.; Song, Y.; Cheng, S.; Linhardt, RJ; Dordick, JS; Chi, L.; Zhang, F. Kinetic and Structural Aspects of Glycosaminoglycan-Monkeypox Virus Protein A29 Interactions Using Surface Plasmon Resonance Molecules 2022, 27, 5898.

“Over the past three years, viral diseases have taken on a new urgency and a new focus in research and development, with COVID-19 raising the profile of the strength and complexity of viruses,” said Fuming Zhang, Senior Research Scientist in the Shirley Ann Jackson, PhD Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS). “For years, researchers at RPI have been looking at the structure of viruses and the interaction of various virus proteins with their human cellular targets. This experience led us to our discovery of this potential topical treatment.” dr. Zhang was joined in this work by Robert Linhardt, a recently retired Constellation Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Jonathan Dordick, Institute Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

“The vast research capabilities of RPI are changing and impacting the world around us,” said Deepak Vashishth, director of the CBIS. “This discovery demonstrates RPI’s role as one of the best research universities in the world and the value and power of fundamental research at the intersection of science and engineering in identifying solutions that impact society.”

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