Experimental Drug Promises to Kill the Flu Virus in a Day - (The Wall Street Journal via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Late-stage study findings showed that Shionogi's experimental influenza drug was able to destroy the virus within 24 hours, compared with Roche's Tamiflu, which took three times longer to achieve the same result in the trial, reported The Wall Street Journal.

  • Shionogi's drug requires only a single dose, while patients need to take two doses of Tamiflu a day, for five days, the news source noted. Further, both Shionogi's compound and Tamiflu take roughly the same amount of time to entirely contain influenza symptoms, but Shionogi claims its compound provides immediate relief faster.

  • Roche has acquired the international license to distribute Shionogi's treatment. The companies say they will apply for US approval this summer, with a decision not expected until next year. Shionogi said Japan's drug regulator is fast-tracking its filing and could approve the drug for use in Japan as early as March.

  • Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson last month began late-stage trials of the influenza drug pimodivir, which blocks a different enzyme that allows the influenza virus to multiply inside the human body, said Brian Woodfall, head of infectious disease development at the company's Janssen unit.

  • Results from an earlier trial demonstrated that pimodivir "significantly decreased viral load over seven days," a company spokeswoman said. Pimodivir worked better in combination with Tamiflu, the news source noted

  • Separately, Johnson & Johnson is researching a biologic injectable, which AstraZeneca and Merck-backed Visterra are also developing.

  • FirstWord Reports: Providing insight, analysis and expert opinion on important Pharma trends and challenging issues <Click here>

To read more NewsPoints articles, click here.

Reference Articles