The bad news: there's no cure for the common cold, because there's no such thing as a common cold. Many different kinds of viruses cause colds, and to date no one has come up with a cure-all.
The good news: A number of researchers have had promising results giving mice a cold vaccine.
The sobering news (from The Guardian): "about 80% of drugs that make it into clinical trials because they worked in mice do not go on to work in humans."
Scientists today identify seven virus families that cause the majority of colds: rhinovirus, coronavirus, influenza and parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and, finally, metapneumovirus, which was first isolated in 2001. Each has a branch of sub-viruses, known as serotypes, of which there are about 200. Rhinovirus, the smallest cold pathogen by size, is by far the most prevalent, causing up to three-quarters of colds in adults. To vanquish the cold we will need to tackle all of these different families of virus at some stage. But, for now, rhinovirus is the biggest player.
Scientists first attempted to make a rhinovirus vaccine in the 1950s. They used a reliable method, pioneered by French biologist Louis Pasteur in the 1880s, in which a small amount of virus is introduced to a host in order to provoke a defensive immunological reaction that then protects the body from subsequent infection. Even so, those who had been vaccinated caught colds just as easily as those who had not.