Influenza outbreak

RECENT NEWS
Wall Street Journal  Oct 20  Comment 
The Outlook: Transmitted through bodily fluids, Ebola isn’t nearly as contagious as airborne diseases such as influenza. But its spread has produced real risks of economic contagion.
NPR  Oct 17  Comment 
The federal government will suspend funding while it reviews the potential risks and benefits of certain experiments with three viruses: SARS, MERS and influenza.
JCN Network  Oct 14  Comment 
Otsuka Pharmaceutical's QuickNavi(TM)-Flu, a rapid diagnostic test kit for the influenza virus, has the leading market share in Japan among products in this category.
Agriculture Online  Oct 10  Comment 
Just hearing or seeing the word "Ebola" these days can send shockwaves of fear through the population, regardless of how rational or irrational that fear may be. The disease has dominated the evening news and has many wondering, "What if it starts...
Forbes  Oct 9  Comment 
Top physicians gathered at a major, annual infectious diseases meeting express far more concern about enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in children and influenza in everyone than the risk of Ebola spreading in the U.S. The only preventable one: Influenza....
Times Online  Oct 6  Comment 
Ebola may be grabbing headlines around the world, but closer to home it is the humble influenza virus that is...
Benzinga  Sep 30  Comment 
Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRPT), a developer of innovative RNA-based therapeutics, today announced favorable safety results from the single ascending dose portion of a Phase I study of AVI-7100, the company's lead candidate for the...
NPR  Sep 24  Comment 
Scientists are deeply divided on whether lab-made flu viruses are legitimate medical research or national security threats. A new federal policy asks institutions to evaluate those risks early on.
Benzinga  Sep 23  Comment 
Vaccine and adjuvant were well-tolerated, consistent with the company's prior studies with saponin-based adjuvants  Hemagglutination-inhibiting antibody responses similar to prior Novavax studies of A(H7N9) with another saponin...




 
TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Influenza, or the flu, is a common infectious disease, which can be deadly to individuals with compromised immune systems (the very young, the very old, and those with conditions such as AIDS or Cancer). However, occasionally particularly virulent strains of influenza break out that can be threatening on a much larger scale -- such as the flu epidemic of 1918 and, more recently, concerns that H5N1 "Bird Flu" or H1N1 "Swine Flu" could mutate into a highly-infectious and deadly virus. A number of pharmaceutical companies make treatments for the flu and benefit from the fear of a flu outbreak.


  • Roche Pharmaceuticals makes Tamiflu, an antiviral pill to treat the flu. In 2005, amid concerns that bird flu might pose a large threat during the winter flu season, many national governments began stocking up on Tamiflu. Chugai pharmaceuticals sells Tamiflu in Japan.
  • Novartis AG (NVS), through its acquisition of Chiron in 2006, supplies much of the traditional flu vaccine supply to the United States.
  • AstraZeneca (AZN), through recently acquired MedImmune, manufactures 'FluMist', a novel flu vaccine that is delivered via an intranasal spray rather than via an injection.

Companies with treatments for H1N1, or "Swine Flu"

In April 2009, a novel flu virus, known as "Swine Flu" because it was believed to have originated in pigs, started infecting humans. By April 28th, there were 1,300 confirmed cases of the flu, known by its scientific designation H1N1, in Mexico, and a handful in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

According to preliminary test done by the US Center for Disease Control, Roche Pharmaceuticals (RHHBY)'s Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)'s Relenza are active against H1N1, although many older drugs are not. [1]

References

  1. Investors buy up shares of flu drug makers, New York Times, April 27th 2009.
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