Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

FDA Approves First New Type Of Flu Drug In 2 Decades

A box of new flu drug Xofluza US FDA approves first enzyme-blocking antiviral in 20 years
Delores Daniels | 28 October, 2018, 04:12

Xofluza was approved to treat acute uncomplicated influenza, a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, in patients 12 years of age and older who have had symptoms for no more than two days, the FDA said.

"Having more treatment options that work in different ways to attack the virus is important because flu viruses can become resistant to antiviral drugs", said the FDA's Dr. Debra Birnkrant. "This novel drug provides an important, additional treatment option", Scott Gottlieb, MD, FDA commissioner said. Flu season is already well underway, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October, as seasonal flu vaccine is one of the most effective and safest ways to protect yourself, your family and your community from the flu and serious flu-related complications, which can result in hospitalizations. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a brand-new flu drug.

Each year, flu typically kills about 12,000 to 56,000 Americans and up to 650,000 people worldwide. However, some patients did develop side effects including diarrhea and bronchitis, per the recent statement.

NASA releases photos of rectangular iceberg in Antarctica
In a different photo (above), Harbeck captured both the edge of the now-famous iceberg, and a slightly less rectangular iceberg. A Landsat 8 satellite image shows part of the northern Antarctic Peninsula, with an arrow pointing to the rectangular iceberg.

How much of an impact will Xofluza have on this year's flu? (The size of the dose depends on your weight.) A course of Tamiflu entails multiple doses over several days.

It works about as well as Tamiflu, Roche's older flu treatment, which is also available in cheaper generic versions.

As the flu season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, news of a drug that can shorten the duration of influenza symptoms, even by a matter of a day or two, may be warmly welcomed. Genentech is committed to helping people who are prescribed XOFLUZA get access to the medicine and will be offering a coupon for all eligible patients. Xofluza is the first antiviral flu drug approved by the FDA in almost 20 years, according to the FDA's statement on the approval.

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Baloxavir is the actual drug, but Xofluza is what it's called, and it's marketed by Genentech Biotechnology company.

Flu treatments generally work best if taken within 48 hours of symptoms beginning. In February 2018, it was approved in Japan for the treatment of influenza types A and B.

Also, reminder: These drugs are meant to help speed up your recovery once you have the flu. It's a prescription for that bad moment when you get the bug but a doctor at Nebraska Medicine says it doesn't take away from the importance of getting a flu shot.

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The company made an announcement recently saying the new plant would be ready by 2020, before the launch of the new vehicle project in 2021.

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