Photo: KIRO7
Photo: KIRO7

Researchers say new drug could end flu as we know it

A new study sheds light on a new drug that could end the flu as we know it.

University of Washington researchers co-authored the study in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

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The revolutionary new drug is called HB36.6. In lab studies it treats the flu, but more importantly, it could also prevent someone from ever developing the flu.

The drug appears to cover multiple strains of the flu. Scientists say the drug would be far more effective than Tamiflu, if the lab work in mice relates to the human body.

In the study, lab mice were given a single dose of HB36.6 via the nose.  Two days later, they were injected with the 2009 strain of the H1N1 pandemic flu virus that killed more than a half million people in Asia.

The mice were completely protected and did not develop any flu symptoms.

Mice that were exposed to the H1N1 flu first were also protected with the new drug.

Researchers also found that a single dose of HB36.6 was more effective in mice than 10 doses of Tamiflu. 

Researchers believe the anti-flu drug could also work just as effectively in people who have weakened immune systems.

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