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St. Jude Study Shows Effectiveness of Peramivir in Prevention of,Mortality in Mouse Model of Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus Infection

BioCryst Says Study Confirms and Extends Evidence Seen in a Previous Study

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 02, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, reported favorable results evaluating peramivir treatment in an animal model of influenza using a highly virulent strain of H5N1 virus (an avian influenza strain that had caused fatal human infection in Viet Nam). The study, presented on April 30, 2007 by Dr. David Boltz at the 20th International Conference on Antiviral Research, Palm Springs, CA, concluded that peramivir is an effective treatment when administered intramuscularly to control H5N1 infection in mice and that these data support the potential use of this drug to control influenza in the event of a pandemic.

The objective of the study was to achieve complete protection against lethal H5N1 influenza virus infection in the mouse model through the use of intramuscular administration of peramivir, a potent neuraminidase inhibitor with antiviral activity against strains of influenza viruses, including seasonal strains and influenza H5N1 strains from avian origins.

A survival rate of 40% to 60% was observed in mice treated with one or two injections of peramivir; however, 100% survival of mice was achieved by two injections of peramivir on the first day followed by once-daily administration for 7 days. The longer duration of peramivir treatment also prevented viral replication in the tissues of the lungs, brain and spleen of the mice at the 3, 6, and 9 day post-inoculation time points.

W. James Alexander, MD, MPH, BioCryst Senior Vice President for Clinical Operations commented, "The results of this St. Jude study, performed under the careful guidance of Drs. Elena Govorkova and Robert Webster, bolsters our confidence that peramivir may be clearly beneficial in the treatment of severe i
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