Influenza outbreak

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Times Online  Jul 24  Comment 
A band of indigenous indians have returned to their communities in Peru infected with influenza after their first contact with the...
NPR  Jul 22  Comment 
Some politicians say that the nearly 60,000 unaccompanied minors who've come to the U.S. could put the nation at risk for everything from TB to mumps. Health officials tell a different story.
NPR  Jul 18  Comment 
The mishaps mean federal scientists need to "take a hard look" at all federal research on deadly pathogens and make sure, in each case, that the benefits justify risks, says Dr. Tom Frieden.
New York Times  Jul 11  Comment 
After potentially serious accidents involving bird flu and live anthrax, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shut the Atlanta labs and halted shipments of infectious agents.
Benzinga  Jul 2  Comment 
Novartis (NYSE: NVS) announced today that it has begun shipment of its seasonal influenza vaccines to customers in the US market for the 2014-2015 season. Novartis plans to ship a minimum of 30 million doses of vaccines (Flucelvax^® [Influenza...
NPR  Jun 27  Comment 
The live vaccine nose spray protects children better, a federal panel says, but pediatricians aren't sold. They say it's too risky for the many children with asthma or compromised immunity.
Times Online  Jun 26  Comment 
A child sent to a detention centre at a US air force base after entering the country illegally has been diagnosed...
New York Times  Jun 24  Comment 
The H7N9 strain of avian influenza poses a threat to several other parts of Asia, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and India, according to a new study.
MedPage Today  Jun 19  Comment 
(MedPage Today) -- The FDA has licensed a North Carolina plant that will use a new -- well, newish -- way of growing influenza vaccines. And chicken farmers need to watch out.
newratings.com  Jun 18  Comment 
CAMBRIDGE (MASSACHUSETTS) (dpa-AFX) - Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc (VRTX) Wednesday entered into a licensing agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals for the worldwide development and commercialization of VX-787, a novel medicine discovered by Vertex...




 
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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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