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

Treating flu, escaping resistance

Influenza viruses can cause severe illness and death. Although vaccines are continuously developed, their efficacy is moderate, particularly in the elderly. Current therapies based on neuraminidase inhibitors are only partially effective and subjected to resistance. Now, Toots et al. developed a drug called EIDD-2801 with anti-influenza virus activity. The authors demonstrated that EIDD-2801 had therapeutic effects in infected ferrets, reducing symptoms and virus load. The treatment was effective against multiple influenza strains in human airway epithelial cultures, and the viruses did not develop pharmacoresistance. The results suggest that EIDD-2801 is a promising candidate for treating seasonal and pandemic influenza.

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