Japan-based Shionogi develops powerful drug to treat influenza

Japan-based pharmaceutical group Shionogi has reported that it has developed a therapy eliminating the A and B influenza virus in 24 hours with a single dose–a far better result than Roche’s Tamiflu, which requires two doses and a minimum of 5 days to deliver results. The new drug has been developed by the scientists working on a new HIV therapy, who have discovered an antiviral targeting the influenza virus. The company is seeking a fast approval by authorities, and is reported to obtain it as early as March for Japan and the next year for the US. Other large companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Merck & Co. are working to develop a new influenza drug. Shionogi’s investigational treatment appears the most efficacious, however J&J is showing good progress with its antiviral Pimodivir.
(Sources: Asahi Shimbun, WSJ)