Influenza outbreak

The Australian  Apr 22  Comment 
CSL will begin the hunt for a new chief financial officer, after picking Gordon Naylor to lead its new global influenza vaccine business.
Agriculture Online  Apr 22  Comment 
Over the weekend, an egg-laying facility in Osceola County, Iowa, was confirmed positive for the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N2 strain, said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on Tuesday afternoon in a press conference to...
New York Times  Apr 21  Comment 
The deadly bird flu virus was confirmed at a farm in Osceola County that has about 10 percent of the state’s egg-laying hens.
The Hindu Business Line  Apr 21  Comment 
Wall Street Journal  Apr 20  Comment 
An Iowa chicken flock of about 5.3 million chickens has been hit with avian influenza.
The Hindu Business Line  Apr 16  Comment 
Five samples of dead birds from Telangana were found positive for H5N1 Avian influenza virus till the evening of April 13. The other samples are under process, the Agriculture Ministry has said...
Agriculture Online  Apr 14  Comment 
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Healthy Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the first case of the highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza virus in the state of Iowa. Following an onslaught of increased...
The Hindu Business Line  Apr 14  Comment 
The outbreak of bird flu in Telangana has sent shock waves across the poultry industry. The Animal Husbandry Department has zeroed in on 18 villages, in a radius of 10-km, around the infected poul...
New York Times  Apr 10  Comment 
So far, under a million birds have been culled, a small part of the 240 million raised a year. But farmers must destroy entire flocks to keep the virus from spreading.
The Hindu Business Line  Mar 31  Comment 
Swine flu claimed the lives of 20 more persons as the death toll in the country rose to 2,064 while the number of persons affected by the H1N1 virus breached the 34,000—mark.Data collated b...
The Hindu Business Line  Mar 29  Comment 
Two more persons succumbed to swine flu in Rajasthan, taking the disease-related death toll to 415 since January this year. One person each died in Jaipur and Bhilwara yesterday, an offic...


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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