Common cold could be cured in just five years, say scientists

Common cold could be cured in just five years, say scientists

Common cold could be cured in just five years, say scientists

A cure for the common cold could be nearer after British scientists successfully tested a drug molecule capable of killing multiple strains of the disease. However, according to a new study, help may soon be at hand. The viruses are also known to evolve incredibly fast, adding another layer of difficulty in developing effective treatments. Without the protein shield, the virus's genetic heart of RNA is exposed and vulnerable - and the virus can not replicate.

Producing a traditional vaccine for the common cold has proved to be a futile exercise but researchers at Imperial College may have discovered a novel new way to target the common cold and prevent its ability to replicate.

This article has been republished from materials provided by Imperial College London.

Lead researcher Professor Ed Tate, from the Department of Chemistry at Imperial, said: "The common cold is an inconvenience for most of us, but can cause serious complications in people with conditions like asthma and COPD".

The virus is therefore blocked from being able to create a shell around itself so it is unable to replicate itself.

In a paper published to Nature Chemistry, the team detailed its new molecule, which targets N-myristoyltransferase (NMT), a protein in human cells.

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Laboratory tests showed how an experimental drug stopped the rhinovirus - the predominant cause of the common cold - hijacking a human protein to build the protective shell, or "capsid".

The researchers have high hopes for the drug, which now goes under the codename of IMP-1088.

In this study, the researchers found no side effect to human cells.

Additionally, the molecule also works against viruses related to the cold virus, such as polio and foot-and-mouth disease. Of course, more research will be needed to confirm that the drug is safe for use.

Professor Tate said: "The way the drug works means that we would need to be sure it was being used against the cold virus, and not similar conditions with different causes, to minimise the chance of toxic side effects". Millions of people every year also receive unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions from doctors for the common cold making it a major source of our growing antibiotic resistance problem.

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