Research ArticleInfluenza

Characterization of orally efficacious influenza drug with high resistance barrier in ferrets and human airway epithelia

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Science Translational Medicine  23 Oct 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 515, eaax5866
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aax5866

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  • RE: Characterization of orally efficacious influenza drug with high resistance barrier in ferrets and human airway epithelia
    • Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu CQS MRSNZ, Associate Dean (Pacific)/Senior Lecturer Pathology & Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand

    To the Editor,

    I read with very keen interest the article by Toots et al, (1) and titled “Characterization of orally efficacious influenza drug with high resistance barrier in ferrets and human airway epithelia”.

    Influenza virus infections remain of global public health concern. The current development, distribution, availability and delivery of seasonal vaccines and therapeutics are all critical measures to limit the impact of Influenza virus outbreaks.

    Despite significant work and attention, current Influenza vaccination strategies are typically comprised of seasonal influenza virus vaccines inducing immunity against a lone subtype of Influenza virus where annual re-design of these commonly available seasonal Influenza vaccines are required to manage and adapt accordingly to the ongoing viral mutations that occur.

    In the current context of Influenza infections, we still await the development of very much needed “Universal” Influenza vaccine and efficacious therapeutics.

    Influenza therapeutics involving Neuraminidase inhibitors have demonstrated limited effectiveness and are also prone to resistance.

    Toots et al, (1) showed that the EIDD-2801 drug was able to generate anti-influenza viral activity in cultured cells and mice. EIDD-2801, is an isopropylester prodrug of the ribonucleoside analog N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC, EIDD-1931), demonstrating orally bioavailable in ferrets and nonhuman primates.

    The underlying mechanism...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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