Researchers discover cure for common cold with a drug molecule

16 May, 2018, 00:46 | Author: Earnest Bishop
  • The average person spends 2.5 years of their life suffering from cold

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.

One of the most common classes, however, is rhinoviruses.

But researchers in the United Kingdom have identified the protein in human cells - N-myristoyltransferase (NMT) - that the virus needs to copy itself. A newly tested molecule appears to offer real hope. The molecule could also work against the poliovirus and the virus that causes foot and mouth disease.

ISTOCK, DR_MICROBEResearchers have developed a compound that blocks the replication of rhinoviruses, the pathogens behind most cases of the common cold.

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 have made a molecule that has shown to the ability to block the multiple strains of the most common cold virus, rhinovirus. The viruses also tend to evolve and build up resistance against drugs rapidly. The results were recently published in Nature Chemistry.

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Solari said that is important, since the virus uses the enzyme to assemble the protein coat which surrounds the genetic material of the virus. Instead it suppresses a human enzyme that the virus relies on to construct its capsid shell. The researchers showed that the new molecule completely blocked several strains of the virus without affecting human cells. However, further studies are needed to ensure that the drug is not toxic in the body.

This approach is also advantageous as the virus can not develop resistance when the drug only affects the human protein, added the researchers.

Any virus needs this same human protein to make new copies of itself and, as this new molecule can target NMT, it can work against the common cold.

Previous attempts to create drugs that target human cells rather than the virus have proven to be failures, while also showing themselves to be toxic.

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