Jan. 11-17, 2002
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Drug offers clues to common cold cure
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Accepting nominations for a distinguished alumna

Drug offers clues to common cold cure

A U.Va. researcher has brought humankind closer to one of its most sought-after goals — a cure for the common cold.

Dr. Frederick Hayden, professor of internal medicine and pathology, has been experimenting with pleconaril, a novel antiviral compound being developed for the treatment of viral respiratory infection, known as the common cold.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that Americans suffer 1 billion colds annually. Currently, there are no antiviral treatments available which target the most common underlying cause of the cold, picornaviruses, one of the largest and most important groups of human pathogens.

Hayden presented some of his data recently at the 41st annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, including results from two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of 2,096 adults with cold symptoms.

Patients treated with pleconaril saw an improvement in their symptoms within a day of starting treatment, and symptoms remained milder than those of the control group.


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