Anti-MERS drugs on the way

The emergent disease, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, also known as MERS, has yet to have a major global impact. But, that is not because it is not a virulent and lethal illness, but rather due to the preventative efforts of the likes of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the virus is nothing to be sniffed at given that it kills more than a third of the people it infects. The first cases were seen in Saudi Arabia in 2012, but MERS, which is related to SARS, has now spread to South Korea and elsewhere. David Waugh and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute recently determined the crystal structures of three structures that might be the starting point for structure-based drug design to combat this virus.