May 03, 2006

Late last month, the Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agriculture and Mechanical College received a U.S. patent regarding several methods to inhibit furin which, according to the patent, “can be used in inhibiting certain bacterial infections, viral infections, and cancers.” U.S. Patent No. 7,033,991 ("Inhibiting furin with polybasic peptides"), issued on April 25th, claims several methods “for treating a mammalian host,” the first method involving a “host [that] is infected by pathogenic bacteria, and wherein the pathogenic bacteria express at least one toxin whose toxicity depends on furin-mediated cleavage, said method comprising administering to the host a polyarginine between five and twenty arginine residues long, for a time and in an amount sufficient to reduce the toxicity of the toxin; wherein the polyarginine inhibits the activity of furin.” Several potent toxins, including pseudomonas, diphtheria, anthrax, HIV, Ebola, and herpes are referenced in the patent, as furin is believed to be involved in the “pathogenesis of many viruses and bacteria.” According to Dr. Iris Lindberg, the first named inventor and Professor of Biochemistry at LSU, “D6R-like furin inhibitors will represent a good starting point to develop effective and potent new drugs that will not only prove a viable approach to combat some types of bacterial infection, but also add to our country's bioweapons defense arsenal."

U.S. Patent No. 7,033,991 LINK
EurekAlert! News Article: LINK


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