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Anti-SARS Remedies Found



At a China-EU annual conference on SARS diagnostics and antivirals, Chinese and European scientists jointly announced that they have found 15 possible anti-SARS remedies that can inhibit the duplication of SARS viruses. The development marks new approaches for producing anti-SARS medicines.


The Sino-European Project on SARS Diagnostics and Antivirals (SEPSDA), launched on May 2004 in Germany, is financed by the EU with an amount of Euro 1.9 million. Universities and research institutes from Germany, Denmark, Poland, and China participated in the project. It took more than one year for scientists to have separated 15 remedies that can curb the duplication of SARS viruses. Some of them are screened out using the findings from genome and molecular biology studies, while some others are found from existing medicines. A remedy, named cinanserin that is used to treat schizophrenia from the 1970s, is found effective in protecting normal cells, and in injuring or killing SARS viruses. Artemisinin, a traditional medicine for treating malaria is also proved effective in inhibiting SARS viruses. Finding new applications of existing medicines is particularly valuable, as these medicines have been proved secure and safe through long clinic applications. They can be readily used in patients, once SARS epidemics breaks out.


In addition, scientists found two coronaviruses in animals, which are proved to be homologous with SARS viruses using genetic sequence.
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