From left to right: Mark Brockman, Silven Read, Tallie Kuang, Ian Tietjen, Tristan Markle, Natalie Kinloch, and Zabrina Brumme.

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New antiretroviral compound derived from sea sponges

March 20, 2018
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Simon Fraser University researchers have identified a chemical compound derived from sea sponges that inhibits HIV at low concentrations and has a mechanism of action that is distinct from licensed antiretroviral drugs.

In a new study published in Antiviral Research, SFU Faculty of Heath Sciences researchers Ian Tietjen, Zabrina Brumme, and Mark Brockman and colleagues tested the antiviral properties of 252 compounds derived from marine sponges and microorganisms. From these compounds, they identified six with antiretroviral capability and one, called bengamide A, with significant efficacy at the same low concentrations as many antiretroviral drugs.

Jaspis coriacea sponge – source of bengamide A

Tietjen says that the way bengamide A targets HIV is unique from current therapies. The compound, which is derived from sea sponges, can provide new insights into the nature and study of viruses and potentially aid in the development of future therapies to combat HIV and other viral diseases.

The study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Grand Challenges Canada, the International Development Research Centre of Canada, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise.

 

Contact:
Ian Bryce, University Communications, 604.773.8134, Ian_Bryce@sfu.ca

Ian Tietjen, Assistant Professor, Health Sciences, 604.657.9443, ITietjen@sfu.ca