Wary of a cure for the common cold

Yesterday’s U of Maryland Science paper about the genomes of common cold viruses tempted reporters and editors into writing some over-enthusiastic headlines and leads about “curing the common cold”.
Hey – it’s just a bunch of genomes!
http://ksjtracker.mit.edu/?p=8584
http://blog.lib.umn.edu/schwitz/healthnews/166414.html

The press release didn’t seem too overblown though.
http://somvweb.som.umaryland.edu/absolutenm/templates/?a=704&z=2
The researchers found that human rhinoviruses are organized into about 15 small groups that come from distant ancestors. The discovery of these multiple groups explains why a “one drug fits all” approach for anti-viral agents does not work.”

And Nick Wade (NYT) was appropriately gloomy about the translational aspects:

“Because colds are mostly a minor nuisance, drug developers say, people would not be likely to pay for expensive drugs. And it would be hard to get the Food and Drug Administration to approve a drug with any serious downside for so mild a disease.”

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