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New Drug, DRACO, Could Kill All Viruses View Count: 549

A paper was published in July of 2011 by researchers from MIT that reports successful tests regarding mice and a new drug that could cure all types of viruses. The drug that was tested is known as DRACO, which is short for Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer. The drug operates as a broad-spectrum antivirus, hopefully killing cells that have been captured by viruses in the body. The drug targets RNA that is double-stranded and produced in the reproduction process of the virus. The paper said that the drug was successful against all 15 of the viruses it was tested against “including rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza, a stomach virus, a polio virus, dengue fever and several other types of hemorrhagic fever,” according to


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DRACO is just one drug that is being developed and tested as a part of a larger project known as PANACEA, which stands for Pharmacological Augmentation of Nonspecific Anti-pathogen Cellular Enzymes and Activities. The project is spearheaded by Doctor Todd Rider, who is the senior staff scientist at MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Chemical, Biological and Nanoscale Technologies Group.

The drug is designed to detect long double-stranded RNA. The research team has created chimeric proteins. One of the proteins will find the RNA and the other will cause cell suicide in order to kill the virus inside the body. The main goal of the drug is that it should be able to enter each cell within the body and kill the virus if it detects something. If nothing is detected, then the drug will not do anything to your body at all. Should a virus be found by the drug, the back ends of the drug will be activated, which causes cells to die and then in turn kill the infection in the body. The drug can work with both RNA and DNA viruses. The drug has been tested on a handful of virus families to date but there are still thousands of viruses to test yet.

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Rider made it clear that the researchers are still quite a ways away from testing the drug on humans despite the large amount of successful tests in mice. MIT is hoping to license the drug to a pharmaceutical company so the testing could be done on larger animals. For the most part, the FDA needs to see research involving plenty of mouse trials followed by a lot of trials that take place in rabbits and guinea pigs and then monkeys before trials can be conducted in humans. Rider thinks that it could be close to a decade before the drug could be available for humans to use.

New Drug, DRACO, Could Kill All Viruses by

  • Guest

    Yeah we all understand the importance of drug safety, but 10 years before we can test in humans? Seriously the FDA needs some reform. And we need technologies that are more reliable than animals for testing.

  • Tim

    Might as well move testing overseas where they will use human inside of a year.
    I say at LEAST give it to terminal patients (where it’s determined that it might be effective) and see what happens?

  • Anonymous

    Are you kidding me, the U.S, is the biggest drug pusher know to man, bigger then columbia, or its rivals. You can’t make money on a cure, what will people run for, donate there money too, raise awareness of, if things were cured, that’s just silly thinking. Illness is big business, please don’t bother raising a brow indulging in such fantasies. I once spoke to one of the largest pharmaceutical C.E.O’s in the world and he directly told me, that his and their only goal was to provide drugs that prolonged and maintain life using their drugs. I also know that another scientist is working on introducing DRACO’s properties into a genetically modified plant such as tobacco, tomatoes, & other plant life, making it accessible to all people. Now that’s something to be hopeful for!

  • This guy

    I’ll be the first to try it!!! No questions asked, give me the drug and watch the effects. If it can cure herpes I’m willing to try it.

  • UNK

    key point is keep them alive NOT cure. Big Pharma will probably buy this out and never let it come to light again.

  • Saluki

    Anyone with hep a,b,orc, herpes, Hiv and virus caused
    cancers should be pounded down the doors of the FDA.

  • me

    Well, I say if this drug really works and help people then they need to go ahead and get on it. they need to test it on a human and put it in pharmacies because i look at it as saving a life. And who knows that life might be our next president, doctor, lawyer, police officer or teacher im just saying you never know. so i dont see whats the hold up!

  • Some Guy

    They should crowd fund development on kickstarted or something.

  • Terry

    Its to bad that this new drug cant be used for years. Its to logical to use it on dying patients. I think what is really happening is that it is being held hostage by the military. In this case I hope some other country produces and use it to help their citizens.

  • Conotocarius Jones

    When is there going to be an update on the progress of this drug’s lisencing and trials? As far as I can tell, this drug doesn’t exist anymore…

  • ladybug248

    You can find an update here. Scroll through the comments and you can see a post made by the blogger. He copied and pasted the researchers response. The issue is funding. They can only accept funding from established businesses or the government.

  • Gut Virus

    What about the viruses that help our gut bacteria?

  • Real Life ANTIVIRUS

    @Gut Virus lol that’s what trials are for
    the scientists are clever enough to figure things out

  • Nada

    People who have HIV you agree to the free trial and despite the risk.

  • Philosophy Science

    My thoughts exactly. I’ve been trying to contact the creator to see if he is open to human trials immediately overseas on the terminally ill. No responses. He would need a corporate backer too. Somebody needs to talk to him, this is about as big as the invention of the wheel.

  • Philosophy Science

    Check out the national press club talk video at
    Animal testing works for many viruses, scientists often just don’t do the tests right or don’t publish the results. Most of this is due to try to get ineffective vaccines to human trials because they think the FDA will approve them rather than because they work.

  • TamFuckOff

    People talking about HIV and hepatitis here… HIV is a retrovirus, it therefore has single stranded RNA, so is hepatitis, which (as it seems) cannot be detected by DRACO

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Posted by on March 30, 2012. Filed under Breaking News,Health,Home. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.



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