Many of us spend a lot of money during our lives on cold remedies that don’t really work – but a new drug could stop the virus in its tracks.
The drug, designed by Imperial College London, blocks a protein in human body cells which the cold virus hijacks to replicate itself.
It’s a radically different approach to targeting the virus, which comes in hundreds of different versions – and in tests on cells in the lab, can stop the virus in its tracks within minutes.
Users would have to take the drug early on in a cold infection, and the researchers are working on a version which could be inhaled.
Tests on people could begin within two years, the researchers say.
“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,” Researcher Professor Ed Tate said.
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“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.”