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Molecule Prevents Common Cold Virus from Hijacking Human Cells

Molecule Prevents Common Cold Virus from Hijacking Human Cells

Researchers in the United Kingdom have identified a key protein in the body that allows the multiple viruses that cause a cold to spread through cells.

Early studies in the lab are promising but it still needs to be tested in animal and human studies before it could hit the market.

United Kingdom scientists have come up with the way to fight against Common Cold. Common cold is communicable disease that means it spreads from on infected person to a healthy person. So as well as being unsafe for many older or immunosuppressed people, it's also a major drag on the the world's medical systems.

Not only a single virus is responsible for cold in people but over 200 strains have been found to be responsible for the cold. When a cold virus replicates, it takes a protein called N-myristoyltransferase (NMT) from host cells to build its capsid, a protein shell that surrounds the virus's genome. On top of that, the viruses evolve rapidly, meaning they can quickly gain resistance to drugs.

They screened a large volume of different compounds looking for a molecule that specifically targeted NMT.

A cure for the common cold may have been found - according to worldwide researchers.

By inventing a novel way to combine the two, they created a molecule, codenamed IMP-1088, which is more than a hundred times more potent than previous molecules targeting the protein in humans.

It's still early days for the research, with the molecule only shown to be effective in cell models, but the primary data is promising.

The common cold has defied medical science for millennia; it has outfoxed both our immune system and the pharmaceutical industry.

The treatment blocks a key protein in the body's cells that cold viruses normally hijack to self-replicate and spread.

"The common cold is an inconvenience for most of us, but can cause serious complications in people with conditions like asthma and COPD", said lead researcher Ed Tate, a professor of chemistry at Imperial College, in the statement.

Still, this is exciting research that could lead to a fast antiviral treatment that stops the common cold in its tracks, regardless of the strain. However, further studies are needed to ensure that the drug is not toxic in the body.

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