Experimental Drug That Kills The Flu In 24 Hours May Come To U.S. Next Year

Amid the worst flu-season in nearly a decade, a Japanese drugmaker is hard at work conducting late stage trials on a pill that they say can kill the flu virus within a day - a third of the time it takes Roche AG's Tamiflu.

Both drugs take roughly the same amount of time to completely contain flu symptoms, but Shionogi says its treatment provides immediately relief much faster. Considering that the U.S. has been hit by one of the worst flu epidemics in years, with the most intense rates of transmission since 2009, the Japanese company's treatment can't come quickly enough.

The experimental treatment developed by the 140-year-old Osaka-based drugmaker requires a single dose, as opposed to two daily doses of Tamiflu for five days. If the drug is as fast as the company claims, it could mean the difference between life and death for at-risk flu sufferers while cutting down the window of active transmission for contagion.

A spokesman for Roche - which holds the international license to distribute the experimental drug, said the Shionogi treatment had proven "significantly faster" at killing the flu, more conveniently, and that the compound offered "improved tolerability" vs. Tamiflu.

The drug was developed as an offshoot of a blockbuster anti-HIV drug, working to block the flu virus from hijacking a cell's internal mechanism, according to Chief Executive Isao Teshirogi.

"The data that we’ve seen looks very promising,” said Martin Howell Friede, who heads up the World Health Organization’s advisory on vaccines. “This could be a breakthrough in the way that we treat influenza.”

Shionogi said Japan’s drug regulator is fast-tracking its approval and could approve it for use in Japan as early as March. The regulator declined to comment. Roche and Shionogi say they will apply for U.S. approval this summer and Shionogi doesn’t expect a decision until next year.

Other players including Johnson & Johnson , AstraZeneca PLC and a startup backed by Merck & Co. are testing new compounds to treat influenza A, the most common flu strain. Shionogi’s candidate is furthest along and it says the compound can also treat B strains that infect humans too. -WSJ

Existing drugs allow the flu virus to hijack cells, while working to block the viral material from escaping to infect other cells. This method simply slows down the virus, giving the body's immune system a giant assist. Shionogi's treatment - which has been in research and development for over a decade. 

After developing an anti-HIV drug in partnership with Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline which blocks a "metallic enzyme" used by the virus to hijack human cells, Shionogi scientists tailored the same technique to the flu virus. 

“So we said, ‘why don’t we build on our HIV knowledge to find a way to treat the flu?’ And we did,” according to lead developer Takeki Uehara.

 

Comments

BrownCoat JRobby Sun, 02/11/2018 - 20:23 Permalink

SIDE EFFECTS include diarrhea, constipation, headache, flushing, hangover, nasal stuffiness, tuberculosis, lightheadedness, hypertension, osteoporosis, death, dizziness, kidney disease, stomach upset, liver disease, juandice, seizures heartburn, skin rash, nosebleed, drowsiness, irregular heat beat, fungal infection.  If you experience death, call your doctor.

In reply to by JRobby

nakedhedgehog BrownCoat Sun, 02/11/2018 - 20:30 Permalink

Tamiflu label says pediatric patients may be at an increased risk of confusion or abnormal behavior. There have been more than a few suicides. Hallucinations, delirium, confusion, and other abnormal behaviors are NOT that rare. What new fun will be had on this "miracle" pharmaceutical? Zerohedge is now a co-opted site that is mostly a mouth piece for the corporate state. Used to see GMO truth here all the time. No longer. BIG SMILE for the corptocracy! I mean Sieg Heil!

In reply to by BrownCoat

847328_3527 nakedhedgehog Sun, 02/11/2018 - 21:01 Permalink

The flu spread so quickly thru kids. They rub their noses and touch each other in school and then bring all the viruses home.

In any case, i am skeptical of any drug that has not been thoroughly tested for several years. Look at all the drugs that came out and were taken off the market after 2 or 3 years when they discovered "side effects" like increased heart attack, birth defects or kidney or hearing loss.

I'll take my chances with the flu and eat the right foods, stay healthy, etc. There's not too many bad side effects from beans, spinach, yams, etc.

In reply to by nakedhedgehog

mkkby TedFarr Sun, 02/11/2018 - 23:14 Permalink

99.9% survive the flu by just resting.  There is no cure for the common cold, flu or any other virus.  There is nothing you can buy that makes any difference.

If you get pneumonia as a side effect, that can be treated with antibiotics.  But as long as you can breathe fine, just stay home and tough it out.  Going to the doc just exposes you to deadly diseases brought in by filthy rats from india/china/africa.

In reply to by TedFarr

Bigly bonin006 Sun, 02/11/2018 - 20:57 Permalink

If you must use air travel during extra virulence, use a mask. They have the antiviral ones that deactivate viruses when they hit the mask. Or an n100.  If passengers look at you like you are crazy, look back at them with pity as they are deadly ignorant.

Quarantine is the only tried and true way to be safest.

In reply to by bonin006

roddy6667 Bigly Sun, 02/11/2018 - 23:14 Permalink

You are more likely to get the flu from touch. People wear masks and then touch door handles, escalator rails, elevator and ATM buttons, toilet handles, airplane food trays and armrests,  and the like. Silly. When I travel, I always carry hand sanitizer (BAC not alcohol). Alcohol is flammable and will be taken at airport security if they see it. In Asia they always spot it. 

In reply to by Bigly

FrankDrakman TalkToLind Sun, 02/11/2018 - 20:11 Permalink

Since you apparently don't travel much, let me share this with you. I was returning from Australia by way of Seoul last month. In between flights, I went to the Asiana lounge. While standing over the buffet, I watched a Chinese woman approaching me.

I was appalled, as this woman started coughing all over the food - no attempt to cover her mouth, no attempt to even turn her head. But the worst was yet to come. She walked up to me, and with her head literally one foot from mine, she opened up and hacked all over me. I was too shocked to even call her a stupid cow. 

I get home, and sure enough, two days later, when I should have recovered from the jet lag, I was still laid down with the flu. I haven't been to work for over a week as I didn't want to be a Typhoid Mary. 

So that's how it happens - ignorant Chinese peasants with no knowledge of hygiene start mixing with regular people, and the disease spreads. 

In reply to by TalkToLind

Pure Evil FrankDrakman Sun, 02/11/2018 - 20:55 Permalink

I don't need to travel to Asia to see that type of behavior. The last two places I worked people would sneeze without covering up and spread their sneeze everywhere.

I think a lot of infected people enjoy spreading it to others as in share my misery.

Next time take massive doses of vitamin D3 to stop the virus from invading the cells to replicate.

Vitamin D blocks the access points into the cells. Thereby stopping the virus from using the cell to replicate in the first place.

What a lot of people may not realize is that these viruses are with us year round. During the months of the year the we make vitamin D due to longer hours exposed to the suns rays we are able to fight off the infections. It's only due to less sunlight during winter months plus more cooped conditions, more likely to run across sick people, that we succumb to the flu.

In reply to by FrankDrakman

roddy6667 FrankDrakman Sun, 02/11/2018 - 21:31 Permalink

I live in China and my experience has been the opposite. Many people wear masks to contain or keep out germs. In any airport in Asia there are stations monitored by health officials. If you have a fever, the scanner picks it up when you come through security. If you show any signs of illness, you will be detained. I was coming into Shenzhen from Hong Kong once, and I was talking to a young Chinese man with a bad hangover from a night on the town in HK. He looked like shit. Sure enough, he was detained. BTW, Chinese peasants don't travel by air much. 

In reply to by FrankDrakman

Hongcha FrankDrakman Sun, 02/11/2018 - 22:34 Permalink

Unfortunately, this has been my experience as well.  Last time I went to Beijing and to Hong Kong, I returned with a nasty productive cough and etc. that lasted a full month.  HK is relatively clean compared to the mainland, but there were enough people hacking on the plane ride back that I am convinced I caught it in there and voila.

In Beijing I dined at a picturesque outdoor patio near the Forbidden City, but unfortunately relative close to a couple of garbage cans.  Within an hour I was running hot & cold flashes and shaking. Still had two weeks left on the itinerary - it was a fascinating trip but I was quite ill the entire time.

Takes the wind out of my sails for a return.  Taiwan is clean, may go there next time.

In reply to by FrankDrakman

wolf pup FrankDrakman Sun, 02/11/2018 - 22:40 Permalink

I got TB in an elevator in Honolulu. My young daughter, as well.

An ancient and seemingly near death old Filipino man, must have weighed all of 85 lbs, was escorted - held up - into the car after we were already in. He looked very ill, was supported by a young woman dressed in street clothes.

Their floor in the medical bullding was first up and as the doors opened, and this was an older and very small elevator, the guy just started THE wettest, most insidious coughing. As he was stumbling toward us, he blew actual spittle all over us! You felt it, ok?! The shock and disgust took me by complete surprise and we ran to clean up in the dental offices we were headed to. I wonder to this day how many others may have gotten TB from him that day.

A month later I had to get a routine TB test for work. Positive. Twice. I immediately knew exactly when that had happened, and took my daughter to the doctor and you betcha! Infected with TB. At 8. 

Months of vicious antibiotics for the both of us. My poor kid. Doc said it’s rampant in Hawaii; he'd been infected 3 times, enough that he forewent treatment the last time and never became active with it; was wary and ready to excuse himself if it went active  

Ignorance kills. Its only bliss for the moron sporting it.. 

In reply to by FrankDrakman

Miffed Microbi… wolf pup Sun, 02/11/2018 - 23:23 Permalink

I'm sorry to tell you I have seen this many many times. Mr laughs at me for leaving areas when people are hocking up their lungs coughing. For crying out loud, not again for Christ sakes! I still drag him by the hand and lead him away as he rolls his eyes. Sometimes ignorance is not bliss. What was once practically eradicated in this country is making a comeback. 

 

Miffed 

 

 

 

 

In reply to by wolf pup

roddy6667 mkkby Tue, 02/13/2018 - 23:03 Permalink

Most people don't realize that Muslims are required to wipe their ass with their bare left hand. Allah told them to, so they have to. Even educated, civilized Muslims in Western countries do this. If you don't believe me, visit that nice Muslim engineer and his IT expert wife. While at their home, ask to use the bathroom. You will see a pitcher or cup or bowl on the floor on the left side of the toilet. There is always water splashed around the left side. Even if they use toilet paper, they are required to go through the ritual of wiping their ass with a wet left hand. Now that you know that, go to that local pizza house or sandwich shop and place your order. While waiting, use the bathroom. See the pitcher and all the splashed water? Enjoy your food.

In reply to by mkkby