An Australian drug maker announced this week that testing of a new antiviral compound aimed at curing the common cold has met with “stunning success.”
The Herald Sun is reporting that a new drug, named Vapendavir, and manufactured by Biota, was able to ease both the symptoms and the duration of the human rhinovirus (HRV) – better known as the common cold – in 300 asthmatic patients. A group of patients who received a placebo at the same time experienced the most severe cold symptoms at 2.5 days whereas those who took the new drug began to recover rapidly after just 1.7 days.
Dr. Robert Stirling, from Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, told the Herald that Vapendavir had the potential to “significantly impact the disabling symptoms of the rhinovirus bug.”
“If this reduces the intensity and duration of a respiratory cold, especially in asthmatics, it is an important finding,” he said.
“I think eventually we will be able to incorporate this treatment into our usual practice and we will find the economic benefits will outweigh health costs of treating infected patients. This could signal the death of the sickie,” he said, using Australian slang for a sick day.
Before the drug makes it to market, it will need to be tested in a larger group of patients and the manufacturer will have to prove to regulators that it fills an unmet need in the healthcare currently available to the public.
This shouldn’t be too difficult as there is currently no available treatment for HRV.
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