New Breakthrough in Viral Disease Research
- Category: News Archive 2010
03 November 2010Dr Leo James of the Medical Research Council Laboratory at Cambridge announced the discovery of a hitherto unknown mechanism whereby antibodies fight viruses from within infected cells.
This opens a major new avenue for research on cures for viral diseases, that are the largest cause of deaths worldwide. It offers hope for a new generation of antiviral drugs.
This is another example of European publicly funded research that constitutes a global public good. Of course pharmaceutical companies will soon be exploring its potential implications for creating cures for viral illnesses such as the common cold, that represent huge markets in the rich world. The MRC and EU global health leaders should also take time to think through how the potential value of this public intellectual property can be shared more fairly with the poor world and its disease burden.