Bird Flu Alarm

Understanding Avian Influenza

Roche's oral flu drug Tamiflu could be effective in treating avian influenza

Roche confirms today that Tamiflu (oseltamivir) could be effective in treating the recent outbreak of the avian influenza in the Far East. Tamiflu was tested in a pre-clinical setting against a wide range of influenza virus strains. Despite the lack of clinical data, the findings provide reassurance that Tamiflu can be expected to be active against any influenza virus neuraminidase enzyme subtype, including the H5N1 strain. This strain is associated with the recent outbreak of avian influenza in Asia.

The WHO in its interim recommendations for the protection of persons in contact with animals potentially infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, advises that 'oseltamivir be readily available for the treatment of suspected H5N1 respiratory infections in cullers and farm workers involved in the mass culling'*.

"Roche is committed to making Tamiflu available to fight this latest avian influenza outbreak. Based on the current WHO approach we have adequate supplies and we continue to work closely with the authorities and our affiliates worldwide in order to monitor the development and act accordingly" says William M. Burns, Head of Roche Pharmaceuticals Division.

Understanding Avian Influenza