Influenza outbreak

Agriculture Online  Sep 22  Comment 
The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak of winter and spring 2015 was the worst animal disease outbreak in U.S. history, affecting more than 48.8 million turkeys and chickens in 21 states, and causing economy-wide losses of an...
Agriculture Online  Sep 21  Comment 
Harrisvaccines has been granted a USDA conditional license for the company’s avian influenza vaccine, RNA. This is the first conditional license for the highly pathogenic avian influenza that swept across the Midwest in the spring of 2015. A...
New York Times  Sep 21  Comment 
The Agriculture Department gave Harrisvaccines a conditional license for a drug to protect chickens from a flu that killed 48 million birds this year.
Forbes  Sep 10  Comment 
Following the dramatic plunge on the Shanghai stock exchange, the big question is whether the world, much of it still growing slowly in the aftermath of the Great Recession, is in for it once again. In a world that once caught a cold only when...
The Hindu Business Line  Sep 7  Comment 
In the realm of avian research, the chicks with the glow-in-the-dark beaks and feet might one day rock the poultry world. British scientists say they have genetically modified chickens in...
Motley Fool  Sep 6  Comment 
Influenza is so common you might dismiss it altogether, but this infectious disease hides a major intangible cost.
GenEng News  Sep 3  Comment 
In 2011 researchers published a study showing that a simple “gain-of-function” mutation in the highly virulent H5N1 influenza strain allowed the virus to be transmitted by aerosol or respiratory droplet to a mammalian species—an ability it...
Japan Today  Aug 28  Comment 
The Agriculture Ministry on Friday partiality lifted a ban on imports of live poultry and poultry meat from the United States and Canada following an outbreak of bird flu. Imports from the eight U.S. states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho,...
Agriculture Online  Aug 28  Comment 
The poultry industry has seen a decline in total egg production year-to-date, compared to 2014. A July USDA Chicken and Eggs report indicates that total egg production in the United States is 10% lower and layers are down 9% compared to July of...
Benzinga  Aug 11  Comment 
iBio, Inc. (NYSE MKT: IBIO), a leader in plant-based biotechnology for developing and manufacturing biopharmaceutical products, received notice that its application for a U.S. patent for a monoclonal antibody targeting influenza is scheduled to...


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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