An experimental new drug, T-705 or Favipiravir, could be more effective than existing drugs to fight sine and bird flu, a UW-Madison researcher found.
T-705, attacks a different flu molecule than Tamiflu does, and is being tested in people in Japan. The new drug has been developed by the Japanese company, Toyoma, and could offer an alternative to Tamiflu, the main drug against all kinds of flu. In fact, some flu viruses have become resistant to Tamiflu, meaning that new drugs are needed. “We need a drug that targets different molecules of the influenza virus,” UW-Madison virologist, Kawaoka said.
During the testing of the new drug, it was found that T-705 worked as well or better than Tamiflu on mice that were infected with bird flu. When both drugs were given three days after infection, T-705 worked twice as well at Tamiflu, the study found. That is significant because many flu patients aren’t able to get medical care soon enough for Tamiflu to be helpful, Kawaoka said.