Can Drug Target Cure Common Cold?


A lot of us must have spent a huge amount of money in a course of our lives on common cold remedies that does not really work – however, a new drug can stop the virus in its tracks.

UK scientists believe that they may have found a way to combat the cold.

The drug is designed by the  Imperial College London. It blocks the protein in human body cells on which the cold virus hijacks in order to replicate themselves.

It’s a fundamentally a different approach to targeting the virus, which comes in hundreds of different versions. Also in tests on cells in the lab, can inhibit the virus in its tracks within minutes.

Dr. Peter Barlow of the British Society for Immunology said: “While this study was conducted entirely in vitro – using cells to model Rhinovirus infection in the laboratory – it shows a great promise in terms of eventually developing the drug treatment to combat the effects of this virus in patients.”

Users will have to take the drug early on in the cold infection, also the researchers are working on a version which can be inhaled.

The researchers say the tests on people could begin within two years.

“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 told.

“Even if the cold has taken hold, it still can help to 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.”

“The way the drug works means that we will need to be sure it was being used against the cold virus, and not similar conditions with different causes, to minimize the chance of toxic side effects,” Tate said.

Fighting a cold

Colds spread easily from one person to another. And the viruses that cause the infections can survive on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.

Cold remedies or painkillers can aid in easing the symptoms. However, currently, there is nothing that can halt the infection.

You can catch a cold by:

  • Inhaling tiny droplets of fluid which contain the cold virus – these are launched into the air when an infected person coughs and sneezes
  • touching an object and surface that is contaminated by the infected droplets and then retouching your mouth, nose, and eyes
  • touching the skin of someone who has infected droplets on their skin and then touching your own mouth, nose or eyes

Symptoms – a runny and blocked nose, sneezing and sore throat. Usually come on quickly and peaks after several days. A lot of people feel better after a week or so. However, a mild cough can persist for few weeks.