Todd Rider, an MIT research scientist, is developing an antiviral drug called Draco that has proven successful in lab trials with human tissue and mice against all 15 viruses it has used for. .
These include the common cold, H1N1 or swine flu, a polio virus, dengue fever and the notorious and fatal Ebola virus.
Rider “wired together” two natural proteins — one that detects virus entry, and another that acts as a suicide switch that kills the infected cell.
A broad-based antiviral could obliterate the threat of a global pandemic and mitigate health scares such as that caused by the Sars virus in 2002 or bird flu in 2009.