The Cure by Glenn Cooper
English | 2020 | Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 3.2 MB
If you catch it, you forget everything. Your only hope is the cure…
He wanted to cure Alzheimer’s Disease…
Single parent and neurologist Dr. Jamie Abbott makes a key contribution to treating Alzheimer’s Disease. But the principal investigator short-circuits the study safeguards, releasing a highly contagious virus that wipes the host’s memories. His daughter is one of the first victims.
As the virus spreads and civil order breaks down, Jamie embarks on a perilous cross-country journey. He needs to reach Dr. Mandy Alexander. She has the other half of a potential cure.
If he fails, he’ll leave most of mankind to the oblivion of total amnesia.
“Correct. They are large peptides that won’t get absorbed into the bloodstream if given orally and won’t get into the brain if given intravenously. So, we piggyback our payload with a novel adenovirus that is not only perfectly harmless, but this new one, developed at Indianapolis, penetrates the central nervous system like a hot knife through butter. Once there, the virus delivers its payload inside the target neurons. Our virus has no ability to integrate with or alter the host genes. After doing its job the virus simply degrades. For that reason, we plan to re-dose our patients once a month.”
Again, the bearded student: “I don’t recall other gene therapy trials needing isolation procedures. Why this one?”
Steadman answered gruffly, “In my opinion it’s overkill, but our overly cautious safety committee is requiring us to do so.” His voice rolled into sarcasm. “In their infinite wisdom, because this particular adenovirus has never been used before, they wanted to eliminate the highly remote possibility that a visitor might introduce a second virus. Hypothetically, and I stress, hypothetically, that virus might combine with our vector, creating a hybrid that could integrate into the patient’s genome, or become capable of making copies of itself. We’ve even been required to pre-screen the patient, all the medical workers, and the patient’s immediate family for active viral infections. Research is sometimes a pain in the rear, boys and girls. All right, it’s show time.”
Steadman, Pettigrew, and the nurse entered the patient’s room. Mrs. Noguchi regarded them warily, scooted to the farthest side of her bed, and began spouting off in Japanese.
“Kon’nichiwa, Mrs. Noguchi,” Steadman said, approaching the bed. He played to his audience who were listening via intercom and watching behind two sets of windows. “She has lost her ability to speak or understand English and has reverted to her native language. This has been a challenge in assessing her mental state, but we have a research nurse who speaks Japanese, so all is well. Mrs. Noguchi is seventy-eight. She has rapidly progressive disease. She has been on standard Alzheimer drugs with negligible impact. Without further experimental therapy I would expect her to be in a vegetative state within six months and dead within a year. Nurse, the syringe, please.”
She handed him a pre-filled syringe attached to a thin catheter.
“Hold her head, please,” Steadman said. “You can’t imagine the paperwork if the dose winds up on her cheek.”