Promising universal cure for the common cold targets human cell protein

Promising universal cure for the common cold targets human cell protein

But if we're lucky, that might not be the case for much longer.

The problem with the common cold virus is that there are hundreds of different strains which are constantly evolving so even if the body develops immunity to one strain, there are hundreds more out there ready to attack.

Last year, a group of European scientists announced they had found a way to decode encrypted signals in the genome of human Parechovirus, which is part of the family of viruses that cause the common cold. The new molecule, codenamed IMP-1088, targets a mechanism that all strains of the cold virus use, however, raising the possibility of a universally effective treatment.

It is both the world's most widespread infectious disease and one of the most elusive.

The ICL team chose to take a unique approach to the problem: If we can't directly take down every cold virus (and every potential cold virus), maybe we can make the human body inhospitable for those viruses.

This hijacking behaviour isn't unique to rhinovirus.

Writing in the journal Nature Chemistry, a team of researchers based around the United Kingdom report how they looked at molecules that interact with a human enzyme that attaches a type of fatty acid molecule on to proteins.

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Scientists have investigated these kinds of NMT inhibitors before, but they've never previously struck upon this level of potency.

The new treatment worked within minutes on human lung cells and research leader Professor Ed Tate said he was "optimistic" his team have finally found a cure.

The researchers believe this molecule holds promise as an "irresistible" cold cure.

The team of researchers now hope to conduct animal and human trials soon to known the efficiency of the IMP-1088.

For now, the researchers are cautioning that it's still very early days. "We haven't done any animal studies, and we obviously haven't done any studies in humans, so I can't tell you formally what the animal toxicity of this compound is", he says.

"There is a still a long way before this becomes a medicine".

"This could be really helpful for people with health conditions like asthma, who can get quite ill when they catch a cold". They published their research yesterday in Nature Chemistry.

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