Press Releases

HKBU-led research team develops novel anti-viral targeted drug for nasopharyngeal cancer treatment

2020.5.11

(From left) Dr Lung Hong Lok, Dr Jiang Lijun, Professor Gary Wong Ka-Leung and Professor Mak Nai-Ki developed a novel drug for the treatment of EBV-related cancers such as nasopharyngeal cancer.


A research team led by Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) has developed a novel anti-Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) drug that can selectively disrupt a viral protein produced by EBV, leading to the shrinkage of tumours caused by the virus. It is the first known agent to successfully target the virus and disturb its latency in tumour cells in this way.

The strategy of reactivation of EBV from its latency is a new trend in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) therapy, and some non-specific, anti-viral drugs have recently entered phase one or phase two clinical trials. Our new drug represents the first specific targeted agent to disrupt a single viral protein and to potently reactivate EBV from its latency. These research results were published in the international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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