The researchers at prestigious institute IIT Roorkee have discovered the anti-viral potential in drug Piperazine that combats the deadly Chikungunya. The report regarding the research got published in Antiviral Research, a journal of Elsevier publishing. According to it, the binding of Piperazine’s pharmacotherapeutic agents with hydrophobic pocket of capsid protein of Chikungunya virus offers a new perspective in inhibiting the spread of the virus.
The scientists have discovered that Piperazine binds well with the hydrophobic pocket. This pocket plays a key role in the replication of the virus and its spread inside the host. The mechanism of inhibition of this pocket prevents the budding and spread of the virus.
Talking about the research, Dr. Shailly Tomar from the Biotechnology department of IIT Roorkee said: “There is no vaccine or antiviral drug available in the market for the cure of Chikungunya currently — Developing a new antiviral drug molecule can take over a decade and that is the reason why we are looking at repositioning existing, approved drugs.
“Our research has showed that Piperazine, a drug existing in the market, is successful in curbing the spread and replication of the Chikungunya virus in a lab setting,” she added.
Presently, the researchers are testing the molecules on animals and hoping to take this to clinical trials soon. The researchers have used crystallographic techniques, in combination with computational biology with fluorescence techniques, along with their expertise in virology and structure biology for this study.