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PhD defence R. (Rick) Heida

When:Tu 13-02-2024 14:30 - 15:30
Where:Academy Building

Inhalation of antiviral drugs to combat respiratory virus infections

Broadening the horizon in times of pandemic pressure

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the threat that viral outbreaks can pose to human health. Therefore, it is essential to have high-quality antiviral drugs available that can be broadly applied in the treatment of infected patients. In the thesis of Rick Heida, a novel type of drug is described that can be active against multiple viruses, such as the influenza virus, coronavirus, and respiratory syncytial virus. This is important for managing future disease outbreaks as current antiviral drugs are often highly specific and thus not broad-spectrum. While all the above-mentioned viruses infect their host via the airways, most antiviral drugs are still administered orally. In the research described in this thesis, the compounds were processed into fine powders that can be inhaled by patients using already available inhalers to enable administration directly to the lungs. Because of this, it is possible to administer a lower dose compared to the dose used for oral administration. There are several benefits to administering drugs through inhalation: on the one hand, locally administered drugs are more effective and have a rapid onset of action, and on the other hand, the chances of adverse events are lower because of the lower dose. In one of the studies described in this thesis, it is shown that the drugs can inhibit the course of the disease when administered directly to the lungs of influenza-infected mice. The results therefore justify further research into the applicability of these drugs as inhaled medications for patients suffering from severe respiratory tract infections.

Promotores Prof.dr. H.W. Frijlink prof. dr. A.L.W. (Anke) Huckriede
Co-supervisor:  dr. W.L.J. (Wouter) Hinrichs

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