Could the common cold soon be a thing of the past? Scientists have created a breakthrough nasal spray that could block the virus as it tries to enter through the nose, where more than 90% of pathogens get in. The vaccine is called SynGEM, and it treats Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), one of three viruses that cause 80% of common colds.

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According to Mucosis, the Dutch company developing SynGEM, around 200,000 people die from RSV each year. RSV is especially dangerous for the elderly and children. The vaccine works for rats and mice, and researchers are beginning human trials at Imperial College London. Researchers say if the humans currently testing SynGEM develop antibodies, the scientists will be able to know the vaccine is truly working.

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Imperial College London professor of experimental medicine Peter Openshaw said in a statement, “We will first test whether the vaccine induces the right sort of immunity in humans, and, if it does, then test whether it will prevent infection in adult volunteers. Previous research has shown that boosting immunity in the nose and lungs may be the best way of increasing defense against RSV, blocking the virus from gaining entry to the body.” Openshaw has been researching colds and the flu for 30 years, and according to The Independent is hopeful the vaccine could be a major breakthrough.

The second trial phase, which could occur in 2017, will test the vaccine in even more people. 54 adults would receive SynGEM in the second trial and 54 would receive a placebo.

Via The Independent

Images via anna gutermuth on Flickr and Claus Rebler on Flickr