Biota flags positive Phase III flu drug data August 10, 2009 — 7:22am ET | By John Carroll
Australia's Biota says a late-stage Asian trial of a new influenza therapy aimed at the blockbuster space occupied by Tamiflu delivered positive data, setting it up to begin commercialization as it pursues new development pacts for Europe and the U.S.
Japan's Daiichi Sankyo organized the trial of laninamivir, concluding that one inhaled dose was as effective as 10 doses of Tamiflu in guarding against influenza A and B. The data arrived at an opportune moment, with governments around the globe looking to stock up on influenza meds that could protect their populations against the swine flu pandemic. Laninamivir could also represent a backup to Tamiflu if swine flu mutates and becomes resistant to the marketed anti-viral. And the new influenza therapy might also be stockpiled in the event of a bird flu pandemic. Laninamivir was effective against H5N1 in a preclinical study