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New hope for common cold treatment

Tuesday May 15th, 2018

British researchers say they may be close to an effective treatment for the common cold.

A new molecule, discovered at Imperial College, London, is a hundred times more effective than previous attempts to target a human molecule that plays a crucial role in virus replication, researchers say.

Initial laboratory studies suggest it might not be toxic to humans – although the researchers say in vivo studies will be necessary to confirm this.

The molecule targets the human N-myristoyltransferase protein, which is essential for the viral capsid.

If effective, the treatment might also work against viruses such as polio, the researchers say.

The molecule, IMP-1088, has been created by combining two others that targeted the protein and were identified by bulk screening, the researchers report in Nature Chemistry.

Researcher Professor Ed Tate said: “The common cold is an inconvenience for most of us, but can cause serious complications in people with conditions like asthma and COPD.

“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.”

Aurélie Mousnier and Andrew Bell et al. Fragment-derived inhibitors of human N-myristoyltransferase block virus capsid assembly and replication of the common cold virus. Nature Chemistry 15 May 2018; doi: 10.1038/s41557-018-0039-2

Tags: Flu & Viruses | Pharmaceuticals | Respiratory | UK News

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