Johnson & Johnson’s experimental flu drug, Pimodivir, succeeds in treating patients with acute uncomplicated seasonal influenza. The experimental drug showed significant effectiveness in treating the said complication. The positive results of the trial concluded the company’s mid-stage study.
Study Setup and Conditions
The trial was meant to test two conditions: (a) the effectiveness of the Pimodivir drug as a solo treatment and (b) the combination of Pimodivir and Oseltamivir (a widely-used flu drug). The treatment lasted for seven days.
The two conditions resulted to a substantial decline in the viral load of patients. “The results of the Phase 2b study demonstrated that Pimodivir, given either alone or with Oseltamivir, significantly decreased the influenza viral load and therefore, if successfully developed and approved, could be an important treatment options for influenza A,” uttered by Julian A. Symons (Janssen’s Vice President for Disease Area R&D Leader, Respiratory Infections).
People Suffering from Influenza Virus
Influenza is considered as one of the most serious public health threat worldwide. The disease is commonly called as “flu.” Globally, research reveals that there are one billion cases of influenza each year, in which five million cases lead to severe illness and almost half a million lead to deaths.
Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies (under Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development) is exerting an all-out effort to combat the influenza virus and develop new and improved cure against it. The virus can evolve from one form to another and has the ability to become immune to treatment.
“Through the development of Pimodivir, Janssen aims to provide a treatment option for people infected with the influenza A virus that will address these gaps,” said by Symons.
Existing Antiviral Drugs
Antiviral drugs help you combat the flu inside your body. At the moment, there are three antiviral drugs endorsed by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which are: oseltamivir, zanamivir and peramivir.
These drugs can reduce the severity of the symptoms and can minimize the period of time of the illness. Pneumonia can also be prevented once you take the drug immediately.
However, among the three types of influenza (Influenza A, B and C), Influenza A can develop immunity to current treatments. J&J hopes to develop a drug to treat patients of influenza who have become accustomed to the drug resulting to resistance to treatment.
Back in March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Pimodivir a “fast-track” status for its potential ability to give medication for patients suffering from influenza A infection. J&J expects the late-stage trial to begin in the second half of 2017.
The market reacted to this development positively as the shares of JNJ increased by 0.58%, making it trade at $132.77. It is a dream of Janssen Pharmaceutical to avoid, stop, treat, and cure diseases. The recent development just shows that the company is really working to “create a world without a disease.”
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