London: A simple jab, which could tackle a host of devastating diseases, is a step closer to reality.
Scientists have pinpointed a protein responsible for the growth of "bad" blood vessels in the body.
A team from the Institute of Ophthalmology, at University College London, is already working on creating a drug which can block the protein, the New York Daily News reported.
The discovery has massive implications for treating cancer, the eye condition age-related macular degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis.
Clinical trials could start in 18 months, possibly leading to a treatment by injection within five to seven years.
The study`s lead author, professor John Greenwood, said that they have been able to show they can reduce this blood vessel growth by blocking a protein using an antibody drug.
He said that they hope it will help those who are not responding to current treatments which are also targeting blood vessel growth.
The team found the protein called LRG1 in tests on mice with a type of eye disease, but believe the results are equally applicable to humans.
The study was published in the journal Nature.