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New drug claims it can kill flu in 24 hours, here's how

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Monday, March 5, 2018, 5:44 PM - The Japanese health ministry has approved a groundbreaking new drug that can get rid of the flu in just one day.

Nikkei reports that Osaka-based pharmaceutical company Shionogi has been cleared to manufacture and market its new drug Xofluza, which could rival Tamiflu, made by Swiss drugmaker Roche.

The influenza virus causes an infection in the respiratory tract when it is transmitted. The virus hijacks the cells to make copies of itself, which then burst forth and infect other cells.

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Antivirals like Tamiflu are taken in multiple doses over several days, and stop the virus by binding to a coating on its surface to inhibit its ability to escape an infected cell.

The new drug Xofluza requires a single pill, and suppresses virus replication by targeting an enzyme.

During trials, the drug was shown to eliminate the flu virus in 24 hours, compared to three days using Tamiflu.

Xofluza was approved in just four months under Japan's fast-track drug review system, and is set to go on sale once a price is determined by the government.

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