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‘First drug of its kind’ flu medication gains approval

| | October 29, 2018

The flu vaccine remains the best proactive way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the influenza virus. But this upcoming flu season, there’ll be a new weapon available against the nasty disease. On [October 25], the Food and Drug Administration announced their approval of a new antiviral treatment for the flu, said to be the first drug of its kind. The drug is formally known as baloxavir marboxil, but will be sold under the trade name Xofluza.

What makes Xofluza particularly exciting is that it goes after the virus in a different way than the only other class of flu antivirals currently do. It inhibits something called the cap-dependent endonuclease protein, which the virus needs to make more copies of itself. That, ideally, should mean that it can treat flu infections resistant to older drugs.

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The two clinical trials evaluated by the FDA for approval—which involved nearly 2,000 patients—showed that Xofluza was able to shorten the duration and reduce the severity of flu symptoms when compared to a placebo.

The results of these trials, according to Shiogi researchers, also suggested that Xofluza could be even more effective at treating high-risk groups like the elderly than typical treatments; it might also stop the virus from replicating sooner, which would reduce the chances of further transmission.

Read full, original post: We Now Have a New Drug to Treat the Flu

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