• The microscope images above show that DRACO successfully treats viral infections. In this set of four photos, dengue hemorrhagic fever virus kills untreated monkey cells (lower left), whereas DRACO has no toxicity in uninfected cells (upper right) and cures an infected cell population (lower right).

    The microscope images above show that DRACO successfully treats viral infections. In this set of four photos, dengue hemorrhagic fever virus kills untreated monkey cells (lower left), whereas DRACO has no toxicity in uninfected cells (upper right) and cures an infected cell population (lower right).

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  • Todd Rider invented the PANACEA and DRACO antiviral therapeutics, and previously invented the CANARY (Cellular Analysis and Notification of Antigen Risks and Yields) sensor for rapid pathogen detection and identification.

    Todd Rider invented the PANACEA and DRACO antiviral therapeutics, and previously invented the CANARY (Cellular Analysis and Notification of Antigen Risks and Yields) sensor for rapid pathogen detection and identification.

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New drug could cure nearly any viral infection

The microscope images above show that DRACO successfully treats viral infections. In this set of four photos, dengue hemorrhagic fever virus kills untreated monkey cells (lower left), whereas DRACO has no toxicity in uninfected cells (upper right) and cures an infected cell population (lower right).

Researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Lab have developed technology that may someday cure the common cold, influenza and other ailments.


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Most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, discovered decades ago. However, such drugs are useless against viral infections, including influenza, the common cold, and deadly hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola.

Now, in a development that could transform how viral infections are treated, a team of researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory has designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection.
 


The microscope images above show that DRACO successfully treats viral infections. In the left set of four photos, rhinovirus (the common cold virus) kills untreated human cells (lower left), whereas DRACO has no toxicity in uninfected cells (upper right) and cures an infected cell population (lower right). Similarly, in the right set of four photos, dengue hemorrhagic fever virus kills untreated monkey cells (lower left), whereas DRACO has no toxicity in uninfected cells (upper right) and cures an infected cell population (lower right). | Enlarge image

In a paper published July 27 in the journal PLoS One, the researchers tested their drug against 15 viruses, and found it was effective against all of them — including rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza, a stomach virus, a polio virus, dengue fever and several other types of hemorrhagic fever.

The drug works by targeting a type of RNA produced only in cells that have been infected by viruses. “In theory, it should work against all viruses,” says Todd Rider, a senior staff scientist in Lincoln Laboratory’s Chemical, Biological, and Nanoscale Technologies Group who invented the new technology.

Because the technology is so broad-spectrum, it could potentially also be used to combat outbreaks of new viruses, such as the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak, Rider says.

Other members of the research team are Lincoln Lab staff members Scott Wick, Christina Zook, Tara Boettcher, Jennifer Pancoast and Benjamin Zusman.

Few antivirals available

Rider had the idea to try developing a broad-spectrum antiviral therapy about 11 years ago, after inventing CANARY (Cellular Analysis and Notification of Antigen Risks and Yields), a biosensor that can rapidly identify pathogens. “If you detect a pathogenic bacterium in the environment, there is probably an antibiotic that could be used to treat someone exposed to that, but I realized there are very few treatments out there for viruses,” he says.

There are a handful of drugs that combat specific viruses, such as the protease inhibitors used to control HIV infection, but these are relatively few in number and susceptible to viral resistance. 

Rider drew inspiration for his therapeutic agents, dubbed DRACOs (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizers), from living cells’ own defense systems.

When viruses infect a cell, they take over its cellular machinery for their own purpose — that is, creating more copies of the virus. During this process, the viruses create long strings of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), which is not found in human or other animal cells.

As part of their natural defenses against viral infection, human cells have proteins that latch onto dsRNA, setting off a cascade of reactions that prevents the virus from replicating itself. However, many viruses can outsmart that system by blocking one of the steps further down the cascade.

Rider had the idea to combine a dsRNA-binding protein with another protein that induces cells to undergo apoptosis (programmed cell suicide) — launched, for example, when a cell determines it is en route to becoming cancerous. Therefore, when one end of the DRACO binds to dsRNA, it signals the other end of the DRACO to initiate cell suicide.

Combining those two elements is a “great idea” and a very novel approach, says Karla Kirkegaard, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University. “Viruses are pretty good at developing resistance to things we try against them, but in this case, it’s hard to think of a simple pathway to drug resistance,” she says.

Each DRACO also includes a “delivery tag,” taken from naturally occurring proteins, that allows it to cross cell membranes and enter any human or animal cell. However, if no dsRNA is present, DRACO leaves the cell unharmed.

Most of the tests reported in this study were done in human and animal cells cultured in the lab, but the researchers also tested DRACO in mice infected with the H1N1 influenza virus. When mice were treated with DRACO, they were completely cured of the infection. The tests also showed that DRACO itself is not toxic to mice.

The researchers are now testing DRACO against more viruses in mice and beginning to get promising results. Rider says he hopes to license the technology for trials in larger animals and for eventual human clinical trials.

This work is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the New England Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, with previous funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and Director of Defense Research & Engineering (now the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering).
 


Topics: Biology, Lincoln Laboratory, Antiviral drugs, Apoptosis (cell suicide), Viruses, Ebola

Comments

Actually it's standard procedure. To my understanding from trainings you can't just skip to the clinical trial on humans and immediately experiment on humans that are very sick, since it is immoral/illegal. It has to pass certain safety standards. Then during the clinical testing stage if the experimental group does much better than the control group, you are obligated to administer the treatment to both groups.

One of the reasons why you can't immediately test on humans is because it prevents vulnerable/sick populations (even if they consent) from being experimented on by potentially dangerous/disastrous treatments, which used to happen in the past.

Does anyone know how to purchase that product?

Wonderful. The "W" word. However, it's true. Both RA and OA have better outcomes when using the natural approach, especially with certain foods and supplements.

Simply hitting the pain (symptom) only works in the short term. Such drugs can even interfere with the rebuilding process of the joints.

There are several articles and interviews since this publication. All of which point to success in defeating all viruses. Draco has proven to detect RNA in all viruses. Draco crosses the BBB (blood brain barrier) and able to enter the nervous system, as it is targeting chicken pox/shingels too. Leaving no place to hide for any virus. It's now a matter of public demand. The more aware people are of this and demand government action, the sooner it will arrive. Due to lack of public demand it's moving forward slowly. Dr Rider is fine tuning and experimenting with more viruses and delivery tags respectively. Dr Rider and his underfunded colleagues are doing as much as possible. It's really up to the people to demand with a great voice that draco must be in clinical trials by early 2014 as it is ready for that. Not having draco too viruses is to not have penicillin for bacterial infections!!! BTW, it was also at MIT where penicillin was refined and improved beyond what was thought possible.

Any news about this

I never hear something anymore about it

It's been 3 years since the last publication. All other articles by other sources refer to this one article. I would like to know if there has been any progress. This seems very promising and I think we deserve to know if this has made any progress or if the project has been killed. Please post another article.


Dear Madam,
Thank you for this interesting paper. Do you believe Draco would be active against Ebola Fever virus? The current E.F.V outbreak in Africa(Sierra Leone , Liberia and Guinea )already killed more than 1000 people and the epidemic seems out of control . An attending physician already died and an other US physician is seriously sick in Morovia. I understand you have a potentially life saving drug . In view of an infection killing up to 90% of people ,I was wondering if the lengthy validation process couldn't be skipped and Draco treatment to be initiated under close clinical and lab. monitoring ,subject to the advice of a local ethical committee,the informed consent of selected patients and the go ahead from local health authorities . For you consideration. Best regards.
Dominique Rouvroy .MD
dominique.rouvroy@gmail.com

Dear Madam,
Thank you for this interesting paper. Do you believe Draco would be active against Ebola Fever virus? The current E.F.V outbreak in Africa(Sierra Leone , Liberia and Guinea )already killed more than 1000 people and the epidemic seems out of control . An attending physician already died and an other US physician is seriously sick in Morovia. I understand Draco could be a life saving drug for those people.In view of an infection killing up to 90% of people ,I was wondering if the lengthy validation process couldn't be skipped and Draco treatment to be initiated under close clinical and lab. monitoring ,subject to the advice of a local ethical committee,the informed consent of selected patients and the go ahead from local health authorities . For you consideration. Best regards.

They put up an "official" site here
http://thedracofund.org/

And a little more flushed out science based article here
http://thedracofund.org/DRACOA...

So, what is the status on this? I think more people should know about this, especially considering the current situation regarding the Ebola outbreak.

HELP FUND THIS SO IT GETS TO HUMAN TRIALS...This will cure so many people around the world.
https://www.thedracofund.org/

All this ebola crap on the news and the CDC isn't talking about this? How is it possible that this page only has 109 views on it??? I mean really? Im posting this everywhere. LOL

This is a profound development in a new age of medicine, intelligent micro technology that can repair cells, or eliminate cells that accelerate cellular degeneration are on the horizon. And a better understanding for how our cells receive signals from our dna and perform tasks that both heal and destroy our cells. The total optimization of positive responses to the body could restore the body to a state of healthy and youthful cellular activity.

Why are they not talking about this and making this happen. I know pharma companies dont want to think that a real "Cure" is out there but we people that are sick and tired of being sick and tired WANT THIS TO HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!1

I don't know, DRACO seems a little sketchy, I see posts from a year ago/2years in the comments, and it's 2015, I feel like if DRACO isn't done right, and it can cross through cell membranes and BBB, it could accelerate the virus, just throwing the worst case scenario out there. I hope and pray very badly that this drug becomes the penicillin of Viruses or some other, but right now, im skeptic of the drug.

So I hear this project died out. As the comments say from 3 years ago.

this is still in development, guys. It was picked up by Draper Labs a year ago and has major major funding. Expect human trials very soon!

I read this three years ago and thought about it today, searched a bit and found this: (2014) "the team looks forward to larger scale animal trials and clinical human trials within a decade or less", so I guess there are many limitations/problems with the drug they are not mentioning here for some reason..

Our body also does the same thing to infected cells. A drug should be selective in its action. It should never harm the host.

If you are looking for support and financing I would expect you to keep people updated. You are at the top of Google but there is no recent DATA. This is not encouraging for those hoping for a cure for their viral infections. Please consider creating another article.

Has anyone looked up what the word Draco means. Where the word came from.im skeptical about this Vaccine, and why they named it Draco.man has created all these stupid Viruses that we have today,and now they want us to belive that this Draco can cure all of them.the Draco Vaccine has Nanotechnology,robots,they are toxic to the Human body. And sence they are Robots the need to be programed,and activated. Here is where the RFID chip comes in.all computers on the Earth are hooked into the main computer in Europe.so , if they put a chip in you all the little Nano Robots will be hooked in to the Beast Computer.the biggest computer in the world,called Cern.and I'll bet that the computer numder that activates the Nano Robots is 666.the number of Cern.

I find this story incredible. My interpretation of this interesting finding is If dsRSNA is present in the patient it may suicide all cells of the virus and therefore cure the patient? Anybody else think the same?
Links to family inheritances to polio virus even more interesting to read. I hope this may assist. When is it likely to become available to patients and in what form ie day procedure if compatible with the patient? Friend here. Thx heaps as always.

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