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Compound May Prevent, Alleviate Influenza Human Testing Is Next For Drug Called Neuraminidase Inhibitor

A new compound that taken as a pill could be used as a preventative or treatment for influenza infections has been developed by California researchers.

The compound, known as a neuraminidase inhibitor, blocks an enzyme necessary for replication of the flu virus and may decrease the length and severity of flu systems and prevent the disease in people exposed to it, the researchers said Tuesday.

Labeled GS4104, the compound was developed by Dr. Choung U. Kim and Dr. Norbert Bischofberger, researchers at Gilead Sciences Inc. of Foster City, Calif., and colleagues at the University of California Berkeley and The Australian National University in Canberra.

An article describing their laboratory research appears in today’s issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Gilead said it plans to conduct human trials this year with Swiss company Hoffmann-LaRoche.

“It’s a big leap to jump from animals to humans, but we have every indication it will work in the same way,” Bischofberger said.

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