Influenza outbreak

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.
NPR  Mar 2  Comment 
The flu epidemic has peaked, the CDC said Friday. Activity declined last week, but the disease is still widespread and dangerous. And it's still not too late to get a flu shot.
GenEng News  Mar 1  Comment 
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have isolated and characterized a distinct type of lung stem cell in mice and humans that is essential for repairing lung alveoli damaged by respiratory conditions, such as severe influenza. Reporting...
NPR  Feb 15  Comment 
The case of a Chinese woman adds to a growing list of avian flu strains to keep an eye on, including ones that are deadly and contagious. So why are there so many?
Benzinga  Feb 12  Comment 
The lethal H3N2 flu strain and comorbid diseases claimed at least 4,000 lives in the U.S. last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The illness rate now rivals that of the swine flu in 2009 and exceeds that of the last severe flu...
FiercePharma  Feb 12  Comment 
As the current flu season highlights the need for a universal flu vaccine and more potent flu shots produced in cells instead of eggs, Sanofi Pasteur has signed a deal potentially worth $155 million to license cell culture technology from South...
The Economic Times  Feb 12  Comment 
The capsules, in the strengths of 30 mg, 45 mg and 75 mg, are generic versions of Hoffman-La Roche Inc's Tamiflu capsules in the same strengths, the company said.


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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