German-based company Genekam Biotechnology has developed the first potential therapeutic molecule candidate against Zika viruses.
The Zika virus infects pregnant women, leading to disorders and newborns with microencephaly (child with a smaller head), as well as lifelong handicap.
Genekam said that the choice to detect and prevent the Zika viruses until now is diagnostic.
Based on experiments, it is proved that Genekam Zika-molecule inhibits the Zika virus infection and is likely to be non-toxic.
The company plans to carry out more studies until the molecules are used on trial for human beings.
According to Genekam, the molecule can accelerate the clinical trial process and remains non-toxic in further studies.
Genekam is specialised in the development of solutions for viruses, particularly influenza, Ebola, MERS and mosquito borne flaviviruses.
The Zika virus is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus, and is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A aegypti and A albopictus and is related to the dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses.
The infection often causes no or only mild symptoms, similar to a very mild form of dengue fever.
Zika can also spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus, which may result in microcephaly, severe brain malformations, and other birth defects.
Image: Genekam therapeutic molecule candidate Photo: courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Genekam Biotechnology AG.