Japanese pharmacists announced the creation of a drug against influenza, capable of killing a virus during the day. It acts much faster than existing analogues and requires only a single dose, the Washington Post reports.
Vaccination remains the main means of fighting against influenza. Drugs that treat a person who has already fallen ill, there is little – the fact is that it is difficult to work on a virus that managed to get inside the cells. The Japanese company Shionogi decided to change the situation by applying to the flu the experience it gained with the development of a drug against HIV.
Usually, anti-influenza drugs are aimed at stopping the spread of viral particles from already trapped cells. The new agent works earlier, even at the stage of infection of cells due to the blocking of the metalloenzyme. Curiously, this enzyme was similar in HIV and influenza.
The study showed that a drug developed by Shionogi killed the flu virus in the patient's body within 24 hours. This is much faster than any of the available analogues on the market. For example, a popular Tamiflu drug requires three times as much time. According to the researchers, rapid destruction of the virus reduces the risk of infecting others. As for the symptoms of the disease, it takes as much time to completely eliminate Shionogi as Tamiflu. However, immediate relief from the new drug comes faster. In addition, it is sufficient to take it once, rather than drink for five days, as Tamiflu.
Currently, the drug trials are continuing. Impressive results of the first works forced the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche to acquire a license for its distribution. The use of the drug in Japan can be approved already in March, but its appearance in the US and other countries should not be expected until next year.