WASHINGTON-U.S. regulators have approved emergency use of one experimental new antiviral drug against pandemic flu and researchers say several more in the pipeline may provide better ways to fight the virus.
Late on Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an authorization for peramivir, made by Biocryst Pharmaceuticals Inc and licensed to Shionogi & Co Ltd.The authorization allows the intravenous drug to be used in seriously ill patients who cannot take pills or inhale Relenza or when Tamiflu or Relenza do not seem to be helping.
So far, H1N1 swine flu seems mild enough so that most patients recover with no treatment, and those who get seriously ill are often helped by Tamiflu, Roche AG and Gilead Sciences Inc's popular pill.
But flu experts fully expect the virus will evolve resistance to Tamiflu, just as at least one strain of seasonal flu has. And it is spreading fast, ahead of efforts to get vaccines out, so drugs are vital for serious cases...