New influenza drug developed

22 Feb 2013, 14:13
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Australian research institute CSIRO, the University of British Columbia and the University of Bath have submitted a new drug against influenza. In laboratory setting, it was experimentally proven to prevent the spread of different strains of flu, reports Xinhua.


Research confirmed that the drug works against resistant strains. Dr Jenny McKimm-Breschkin, one of the researchers from the team that created Relenza, explained that deep understanding of the mechanism through which a virus acquires resistance to a drug allows to create the new advanced medicines.


After the discovery of the resistance mechanism of influenza virus, the improved medication is just a question of time.


The antiviral drug attaches to the virus at a particular site. It appears that all flu strains possess the site, so the drug is likely to work against new emerging flu strains.


Considering the fact that millions of poultry are infected with the flu every year, the scientists fear that the virus may mutate and start spreading globally infecting people.


According to WHO report, the flu kills about 500,000 people each year. The need of universal drug against it is urgent. However, even if the new drug proved to be effective as claimed, it would still take at least 7 years to put it on the market.


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