Influenza outbreak

RECENT NEWS  Jan 9  Comment 
The country, one of the world's top chicken importers, adds Finland, Serbia and Britain to an origins blacklist, amid fresh findings of bird flu
DailyFinance  Jan 7  Comment 
Filed under: News, Innovation - Health Flu season is off and running, right on time, federal health officials said Friday. Every state is reporting influenza outbreaks, and it looks a little worse than last year's relatively mild season looked...
MedPage Today  Jan 4  Comment 
(MedPage Today) -- Country says strain has infected 19, killed three this winter
The Hindu Business Line  Jan 2  Comment 
Saudi Arabia has placed a temporary ban on the import of Indian poultry products, following the recent outbreak of avian influenza or bird flu in several parts of the country.Saudi joins other West As...
NPR  Dec 20  Comment 
Health officials are tracking people who interacted with the sick cats, since flu viruses can jump from animals to people. In this case they think there's probably little risk to humans.
MedPage Today  Dec 9  Comment 
(MedPage Today) -- Swine flu panic in 2009-2010 played big role, study suggests
GenEng News  Dec 7  Comment 
It is an antiviral mechanism had been found in plants, insects, and nematodes—and mice, too—but it had not been found in humans…until now. Alas, the protective countermeasure, which depends on the creation of small interfering (siRNAs) in...
NPR  Dec 4  Comment 
To research mysterious and deadly diseases, a scientist puts on a plastic bodysuit and steps into a lab sealed off from the outside world.
GenEng News  Dec 2  Comment 
Developing a live vaccine is a tricky balancing act. But it can become more of a sure thing if the vaccine developer puts a thumb on the scales. That’s one way to describe the approach taken by Peking University researchers. They decided to...  Nov 25  Comment 
The poultry group unveils a profits hit from the spreading bird flu epidemic which has forced flock culls, and killed a German emu


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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