Kinase Inhibitors as a Treatment for Viral Infections
Antiviral medications are used to treat a narrow range of organisms, and as unbelievable as it sounds, fewer than ten viral infections are treated by currently approved antiviral drugs! And the majority of these are direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) that only target proteins encoded by individual viruses and therefore are able to address only a small range of protection.
A recent review in DNA and Cell Biology summarizes advances and issues that would allow adapting kinase inhibitors as broad-spectrum antiviral therapies, similar to the way antibiotics are currently employed. Taking a cue from anticancer drugs, sunitinib and erlotinib, which have been found to target kinases necessary for every stage of the viral life cycle, the authors suggest repurposing already approved kinase inhibitors as antivirals. There are many advantages to this approach: efficacy and earlier implementation (since specific viral diagnosis would not be needed prior to deployment), a shorter developmental timeline, lower R&D, and therefore lower consumer costs.
The fascinating details are found here: