‘Holy grail of medicine’: Experimental drug promises to stop flu in its tracks—if it works in humans

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Image: MBS

We might be inching closer to a holy grail of medicine: an incredibly effective flu-killing drug that the virus can’t quickly adapt to. A new experimental treatment was able to rapidly reduce the flu virus in ferrets, but human trials are still a ways off.

For the researchers’ experiments, the ferrets were first infected with different types of flu—the kinds that cause us seasonal sniffles as well as the strain of flu behind a 2009 pandemic—then they were treated with varying oral doses of [the drug] EIDD-2801 a day into exposure.

They found that EIDD-2801 was able to dramatically reduce the viral load of these flu strains “by multiple orders of magnitude” within a day’s time, along with alleviating fever and other symptoms of infection—with its performance being comparable to or better than an existing antiviral used to treat flu. And when EIDD-2801 was given to the ferrets immediately before and after flu exposure, it prevented illness from showing up at all. Experiments involving human lung tissue created in a petri dish found similar evidence of EIDD-2801’s lethality.

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Read full, original post: Scientists Say Their Experimental Drug Knocks Out the Flu, in Animal Tests at Least

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