As Americans suffer through the worst influenza outbreak in almost a decade, a Japanese drugmaker says it has developed a pill that can kill the virus within a day. But even if the experimental drug lives up to the claim, it likely won’t be available in the U.S. until next year at the earliest.
A late-stage trial on Japanese and American flu patients found that for the people who took the Shionogi 4507 1.41% & Co. compound, the median time taken to wipe out the virus was 24 hours. That is much quicker than any other flu drug on the market, including Roche AG’s RHHBY -0.34% Tamiflu, which the trial showed took three times longer to achieve the same result. Quickly killing the virus could reduce its contagious effects, Shionogi said.
Also, Shionogi’s experimental drug requires only a single dose, while patients need to take two doses of Tamiflu a day, for five days.
Both Shionogi’s compound and Tamiflu take roughly the same amount of time to entirely contain flu symptoms, but Shionogi says its compound provides immediate relief faster.