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Researchers identify a potential drug candidate for hand, foot and mouth disease

September 22, 2020

A study appearing next week in the journal Nature Communications offers some good news in the search for antiviral drugs for hard-to-treat diseases. Researchers have identified a potential new drug candidate against enterovirus 71, a common cause of hand, foot and mouth disease in infants and young children.

The compound of interest is a small molecule that binds to RNA, the virus’s genetic material, and changes its 3-D shape in a way that stops the virus from multiplying without harming its human host.

There are currently no FDA-approved drugs or vaccines for enterovirus 71, which affects hundreds of thousands of children each year, particularly in Southeast Asia.

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