Researchers hint at potential anti-MERS drug

Although headlines chronicling the recent MERS outbreak in South Korea have a tapered off a bit, researchers are still focused intently on developing a foil for the virus.

At the 65th annual American Crystallographic Association 2015 meeting in Philadelphia this week, a team from the Rockville, Md.-based National Cancer Institute presented three newly determined crystal structures that collectively provide a starting point for a drug-design effort to combat MERS.

The researchers anticipate it will take at least a year to sort through the data and begin the actual drug design. However, this method could lead to a drug that is easily administered orally, a stumbling block that has limited the appeal of other types of antiviral medications developed for the same purpose.

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