The Greatest Medical Discovery of All Time

Can you guess what I think is one of the greatest medical discoveries of all time?

The basic idea goes back centuries…and we keep improving on it…

I’ll give you a few hints.

In the late 1700s, English physician and scientist Edward Jenner discovered a way to train the immune system against smallpox infection. He used material from a similar animal infection, called cowpox.

Catching on yet?

To this day, the practice of creating an adaptive immunity comes from the Latin word for cow: vacca.

By now it should be obvious.

Of course, I’m talking about vaccines.

We’ve taken the idea behind vaccines much further over the past couple of centuries. We now have vaccines against many different viruses.

However, there are still shortcomings to common vaccine tech…there are many types of viral infections we haven’t been able to eradicate.

In some cases, the viruses mutate too fast. A vaccine is obsolete by the time it becomes available…and producing new vaccines takes time.

In other cases, we just haven’t figured out how to build a working vaccine in the first place.

The problem is that to a large extent, we are using technology that’s about a century old. Newer technology has enabled us to develop new vaccines for viruses such as hepatitis B and HPV. But many deadly pathogens remain.

One such disease we just haven’t been able to tackle is a virus called respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

RSV is a very common respiratory system infection. Most of the population has been infected by their second birthday.

It’s a common cause of pneumonia. And it makes a pretty hefty footprint in our health care system.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it causes nearly 60,000 hospitalizations and 2.1 million outpatient visits for kids under 5.

This disease strikes our older population too. Among those over 65, it causes 177,000 hospitalizations per year… and 14,000 deaths.

That’s just here in the United States.

Despite our best efforts, to date we haven’t been able to create a satisfactory RSV vaccine using traditional technology.

Imagine if we could prevent RSV…

We could protect our older people from being killed by this virus. Infants could also receive immunity from their mothers… provided they are vaccinated.

One of the greatest-ever improvements in human health has been thanks to the deployment of vaccines that helped eradicate viral infections like smallpox and polio.

But as you can see with ailments like RSV, there are still a lot of viruses that take our lives.

I predict we will begin to see a new generation of vax tech that is going to help continue our success against the microscopic killers. In fact, I’ve identified a company in my Agora Financial’s FDA Trader portfolio that I think will eradicate some of the more complex diseases – including RSV.

Every challenge is also an opportunity…

Whoever can solve these problems is on the road to making big profits.

To a bright future,

Ray Blanco
for The Daily Reckoning

 

The Daily Reckoning