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New Drug Promises to Cure All Flu, From Bird to Seasonal

Antibodies target virus' shared vulnerability
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2009 2:36 AM CST
New Drug Promises to Cure All Flu, From Bird to Seasonal
Researchers were looking for a bird flu treatment when they discovered antibodies effective against most strands.   (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

(Newser) – Researchers have developed a drug cocktail that could provide a cure-all to the flu in all of its forms, WebMD reports. The new antibodies target a part of the virus that has only two known variations, a vulnerability that past vaccines have missed. Drugs mobilizing the new technology could debut by the 2011 flu season, sooner if there's a threatening pandemic.

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Scientists made the discovery while attempting to stop bird flu. Not only did the antibodies defend against that lethal ailment, but—much to the researchers' delight—every other flu mutation they concocted. "This really is an important advance," said a professor of medicine. "The possibility of having a universal therapy for flu is made more real." (Read more medical study stories.)

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