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Thursday, 15 February 2018

Say goodbye to the flu in 24 hours

According to the World Health Organization ( WHO ), every year between 3 and 5 million people get sick from the flu. Of that amount, between 250,000 and 500 patients die from complications in this condition, which is classified as an epidemic of global proportions.

In addition to the ease with which it is transmitted and the risk it represents for certain population groups (pregnant women, children under 5 years old, elderly people, people suffering from asthma, chronic heart disease, among others), this viral infection (contagious) by virus) has economic repercussions due to absenteeism.

Against this background, scientists from around the world are conducting research to find a drug to cure the flu and not only relieve symptoms temporarily. In this 'race for health' Japan has taken the lead and has good news for all those who are prone to this condition.

The pharmaceutical company Shionogi , in collaboration with the multinational Roche, developed a new drug called Baloxavir marboxil, which is designed to treat type A and B flu in a single day. That is, the patient will only require taking one pill and that will be the entire treatment.

The drug Baloxavir marboxil only needs one shot, because it blocks a protein that the flu virus needs to replicate inside cells. If the virus does not have access to that protein, it simply can not reproduce inside the human body and therefore the disease will not develop.

Daniel O'Day, director of the Roche Pharmaceutical Department , explained to Bloomberg: "It is a single-use pill, compared to a multi-day treatment, which may confer certain advantages for pandemic planning.You do not have the problem of a potential resistance that could appear if you do not complete a therapy. "

For now the drug is in a phase III clinical trial and the government of Japan has accepted it as an experimental treatment. During the most recent stage of research (Phase III of the clinical trial), Baloxavir marboxil was administered to a group of volunteers, while others were given a placebo.

The researchers found that those who received Baloxavir marboxil reported fever relief in 24 hours (compared to 42 hours for those who took the placebo). In addition, since they only ingested one pill of this new drug, they did not have adverse effects as with other treatments.  

Although the drug is still in the testing phase, Shionogi is already carrying out the necessary procedures to obtain authorization for use in the United States and the European Union, in order to start its commercialization when the drug is commonly used in the Japanese country.


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