Influenza outbreak

RECENT NEWS
New York Times  Oct 30  Comment 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots for everyone 6 months old and older.
NPR  Oct 30  Comment 
Why are infectious disease costumes even a thing? It's actually a relatively new development in Halloween history, but there are precedents. See: Plague Doctor mask, Venice.
newratings.com  Oct 27  Comment 
BASEL (dpa-AFX) - Novartis (NVS) announced that it agreed to divest its influenza vaccines business to Australian biotech firm CSL Ltd. for an agreed price of $275 million. This transaction requires regulatory approvals and is expected to close...
Reuters  Oct 26  Comment 
Australia's CSL Ltd , the world's largest blood products company, said on Monday it had agreed to buy Novartis AG's global influenza vaccine business for $275 million.
Insurance Journal  Oct 23  Comment 
The Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa has the potential to be the most deadly infectious disease event since the 1918 flu pandemic, according to a new report by catastrophic risk modeling firm RMS. RMS said the current outbreak … The...
NPR  Oct 23  Comment 
Frustrated scientists argued Wednesday that making nasty viruses even worse in the lab provides crucial insight into preventing pandemics. Others say it just ups the risk a lab germ will start one.
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.




 
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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