"Here we report the discovery of IMP-1088, a picomolardual inhibitor of the human N-myristoyltransferases NMT1 and NMT2, and use it to demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of host-cell N-myristoylation rapidly and completely prevents rhinoviral replication without inducing cytotoxicity", the research says.
Previous efforts to create drugs that target human cells rather than infections have failed thanks to "toxic side effects".
The problem with the common cold virus is that there are hundreds of different strains which are constantly evolving so even if the body develops immunity to one strain, there are hundreds more out there ready to attack. But what if there were one way to block the ability of all cold viruses from replicating-thereby fending off the sneezing, sore throat and general misery that they cause? They found two compounds that seemed to work well together, so they combined them to make IMP-1088. The researchers believe that it could work against other related viruses, including those responsible for polio and foot-and-mouth disease.
We often talk about the common cold like it's one illness caused by one germ, but in reality, a cold can be triggered by nearly 200 different viruses.
Scientists have managed to strip the common cold virus of its armour, opening up the possibility of a cure.
"This could be really helpful for people with health conditions like asthma, who can get quite ill when they catch a cold".
The research team will next test the drug in animal trials before moving on to humans.
All strains of cold virus need this human protein to make new copies of themselves. They are also developing a way to deliver the drug via the lungs.
Researcher Professor Roberto Solari said that laboratory testing showed the compound was effective against the rhinovirus, the most common cause of the common cold.
They're working on making a form of the drug that can be inhaled as a way to reduce any further risks or complications.