Influenza outbreak

NPR  Jul 9  Comment 
Researchers are looking to redeploy drugs used for years to treat cholesterol and high blood pressure as remedies for influenza and Ebola.
MedPage Today  Jun 20  Comment 
(MedPage Today) -- Committee also heard data on cell-cultured influenza vaccines
GenEng News  Jun 11  Comment 
Scientists report that half of influenza cases in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) received a false-negative rapid influenza antigen test (RIAT). Such results could delay antiviral therapy for patients who were in the ICU with...
Forbes  Jun 9  Comment 
This University will pay you to get sick and stay in a place with comfy chairs. Here are the important reasons why.
GenEng News  Jun 5  Comment 
If you lie with dogs, you might get fleas—or worse, an influenza virus that is completely unfamiliar to your immune defenses. The risk appears to be rising, says an international team of scientists that has been studying how influenza viruses...
New York Times  May 30  Comment 
Wednesday: What you need to know about canine influenza, Shakespeare in the Park returns, and your soccer spots.
The Hindu Business Line  May 23  Comment 
Is this about Nipah?Yes, and more. Epidemics like Nipah, bird flu or Ebola time and again dent economies while causing serious damage to human lives.
Reuters  Mar 28  Comment 
Higher foie gras prices and large public subsidies have allowed farmers to overcome two consecutive bird flu crises that ravaged duck flocks in southwest France, but output will take time to recover, producers said on Wednesday.
FiercePharma  Mar 5  Comment 
As the unsatisfactory performance posted by this season’s flu vaccines draws conversation around better prophylactic options, Novavax hopes to show that its new candidate could become one for older adults, who usually suffer the most from...
MarketWatch  Mar 3  Comment 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says influenza activity decreased at the end of February.


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]


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