Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
London, United Kingdom (4E) – At last, a cure for the common cold — but this one doesn’t target the virus.
Researchers at Imperial College London have developed a new molecule called “IMP-1088,” which they say could cure the common cold. IMP-1088 is a molecule that targets human cells that allow the cold virus to spread.
The common cold virus enters the human body and then hijacks particular cells to duplicate itself. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature Chemistry, describes how IMP-1088 interferes with a protein in human cells to prevent a hijacking from taking place.
It took just minutes for IMP-1088 to take effect on human lung cells in a laboratory trial. Researchers are now working on a drug that can be inhaled for people who’ve just come down with the cold.
“The common cold is an inconvenience for most of us, but can cause serious complications in people with conditions like asthma and COPD,” said Prof. Ed Tate. “A drug like this could be extremely beneficial if given early in infection, and we are working on making a version that could be inhaled, so that it gets to the lungs quickly.”
Prof. Tate said the idea is that we could give it to someone when they first become infected and it would stop the virus being able to replicate and spread. “Even if the cold has taken hold, it still might help lessen the symptoms. This could be really helpful for people with health conditions like asthma, who can get quite ill when they catch a cold.”
He said targeting the host rather than the infection was “a bit radical” but made sense because the viral target was such a tricky one.
Previous attempts to develop drugs that target human cells rather than infections have failed due to “toxic side effects”. There have been no such side effects from IMP-1088 thus far.
IMP-1088 was initially discovered when searching for a way to take on malaria parasites.
Article – All Rights Reserved.
Provided by FeedSyndicate