Influenza outbreak

RECENT NEWS
New York Times  Nov 19  Comment 
An Egyptian woman died on Tuesday of bird flu after coming into contact with infected birds, the second death from the disease in two days, a health ministry statement said.
Benzinga  Nov 17  Comment 
Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of recombinant nanoparticle vaccines and adjuvants, today announced that enrollment has begun in a Phase 2...
New York Times  Nov 17  Comment 
What you need to know to start your day.
New York Times  Nov 17  Comment 
The Dutch government on Sunday banned the transport of poultry and eggs throughout the country after confirming an outbreak of bird flu at a chicken farm.
Financial Times  Nov 17  Comment 
GenEng News  Nov 11  Comment 
The JCVI-Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation-Vecna Team, which includes researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), has been awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) a $23 million contract for up to...
NPR  Nov 6  Comment 
Health officials estimate that every flu season, 1 in 5 Americans will get the bug. This year, changes in flu vaccines and in federal guidelines could help those most susceptible to the virus.
Agrimoney.com  Nov 5  Comment 
... it is a recipe for falling grain and soybean prices. Still, falls in early deals aren't too bad in Chicago. Kuala Lumpur palm oil fares worse
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...




 
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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