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Test drug hope for avian influenza


An inhaled dose of an experimental influenza drug saved more mice from avian influenza than the preferred drug Tamiflu after the rodents were infected with a normally deadly dose of the H5N1 flu, a study has revealed.

The experimental CS 8958, or laninamivir, from Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd, also protected against infection, said the report by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin.

The team infected mice with H5N1 and gave a dose of the test drug two hours later. This was found to prevent infection. They said CS-8958 looks promising for a new neuraminidase inhibitor to prevent and treat influenza patients infected with H5N1 and other subtype viruses. Experts fear H5N1 could cause a pandemic.

The report, which has been published in the Public Library of Science Journal PLoS Pathogens, covers one of the dozens of ongoing studies of a new batch of influenza drugs that various companies are developing.

Copyright Press Association 2010

Department of Health

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