Flu killer? Japanese experimental drug promises 24-hour action

By Health CareFOXBusiness

As American’s are battling the worst flu outbreak in nearly a decade, one experimental drug promises to kill the virus within a day.

The compound developed by Japanese drug maker Shionogi & Co. was found to work three times faster than Tamiflu, the most popular flu drug on the market, wiping out the virus in 24 hours.

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Dr. Marc Siegel, NYC Langone Medical Center professor, said it works to decrease viral shedding—a process that occurs when a virus is present in bodily fluids or open wounds and can be transmitted to another person.

“It’s like something out of science fiction,” Dr. Siegel said to FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.” “This particular drug...blocks the ability that the flu virus has to take over the inside of your cell.” he said

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The drug just finished stage 3 trials and will be approved in Europe this spring however it won’t be available in the U.S until next year.

It also requires a single dose as compared to Tamiflu which involves two doses a day for five days. Tamiflu, the leading drug to treat the virus, is made by Genentech, a unit of The Roche Group.

Even if the drug lives up to its claim it won’t take the place of the universal flu vaccine, in Dr. Siegel’s opinion.

“This is a great anti-viral drug it looks very promising,” he said.

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