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

rom US FDA and the availability of an intravenous neuraminidase inhibitor may be important in treating patients hospitalized with severe and potentially life-threatening influenza. The availability of an intramuscular formulation of peramivir could ensure appropriate dosing which may be a concern with currently available oral or inhaled anti-influenza agents.

About Influenza

The influenza virus causes an acute viral disease of the respiratory tract. Unlike the common cold and some other respiratory infections, seasonal flu can cause severe illness, resulting in life-threatening complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year in the United States more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and about 36,000 people die from flu. Most at risk are young children, the elderly, and people with seriously compromised immune systems.

Avian influenza A viruses of H5N1 subtype are circulating among birds worldwide, the virus is considered extremely contagious in fowl. It is believed that all species of birds are susceptible to avian influenza, but domestic poultry, including chickens and turkeys, are among the more susceptible to the highly pathogenic strain. According to the World Health Organization, at least 261 people have contracted H5N1 avian influenza, of which at least 157 have died. Almost all of these infections are believed to have resulted from contact with infected poultry.

About BioCryst

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a leader in the use of crystallography and structure-based drug design for the development of novel therapeutics to treat cancer, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, and viral infections. The company is advancing multiple internal programs toward potential commercialization including Fodosine(TM) in oncology, BCX-4208 in transplantation and autoimmune diseases and peramivir in seasonal and life- threatening influenza. BioCryst has a worldwide
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