New Israeli tactic makes deadly viruses commit suicide | ISRAEL21c | this curious life | Scoop.it

Vecoy Nanomedicines has a whole new approach: a virus ‘decoy’ to outwit the world’s worst enemy before it does any damage.

 

'“Viruses are one of the biggest threats to humankind,” Israeli biologist Erez Livneh, CEO and founder of a new biotech company Vecoy Nanomedicines tells ISRAEL21c.

 

“A viral pandemic could be more damaging than global warming or the Iranian nuclear program.”

 

Vecoy offers a cunning new way to disarm viruses by luring them to attack microscopic, cell-like decoys. Once inside these traps, the viruses effectively commit suicide.

 

“Viruses are one of the most polymorphic and resilient organisms out there,” says Livneh. “They are rapidly changing, and can change anything in their genome, either by changing their exterior so our immune system wouldn’t recognize them or by changing their enzymes so that the handful of drugs we have won’t affect them anymore.”

 

Yet all viruses, he notes, have one unchangeable Achilles heel: their cell host recognition site. Vecoy uses nanotechnology to give the virus two choices: either latch on to the Vecoy host trap or mutate in such a way that it cannot penetrate real host cells. In both scenarios, the end result is bad news for the virus.

 

While it takes years to come up with new drugs, Vecoy’s virus traps could be tailored to address emerging new viral outbreaks quickly and efficiently, even in the event of a bioterror assault. If a government sees a threat coming from an enemy nation or a potential pandemic blowing its way, Vecoy’s solution could potentially inoculate populations before peril arrives.'