Computer-based research could pave way for anti-flu drugs of the future

By looking at whether existing medications could be used as a starting point for new anti-flu drugs, researchers at the University of Hertfordshire are helping to pave the way for future treatments against influenza.

The study, published in the journal Virology and carried out within the Biosciences Research Group at the University of Hertfordshire, used computer-based analysis to focus on the nuclear export protein as a drug target. The nuclear export protein facilitates the spread of the flu virus by interacting with other proteins inside cells.

From the 1,700 approved drugs tested, researchers identified an anabolic steroid used in menopausal hormone therapy as a starting point for new anti-flu drugs. The findings could be used in lab-based experiments by scientists looking to create future anti-flu drugs.

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