Scientists at Sea Lane Biotechnologies and the Scripps Research Institute have unlocked the secrets of an antibody that both prevents and treats the flu, according to News Medical.
The antibody, Co5, which scientists examined in its crytalline form for the first time, is capable of recognizing and destroying the influenza virus’ mechanism for latching onto host cells.
In lab trials, Co5 was able to stop influenza A — the deadliest form of the virus — from infecting healthy mice. Furthermore, when introduced to mice who had already been exposed to influenza A, Co5 was able to rid them of the disease.
Researchers hope that this discovery will lead to a universally effective influenza vaccine. Current flu vaccine manufacturers and distributors include AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), Novartis (NYSE:NVS) and Sanofi (NYSE:SNY). However, the vaccines these companies distribute must change with each flu season as the virus itself mutates. A new cure, based around Co5’s assault on the virus’ structure, may not need annual updating.
— Ryan Hauck, InvestorPlace