As Seasonal Flu Ramps Up, NexBio Begins Phase II Trial for DAS181

fluAmid the fuss over swine flu, it’s easy to forget that traditional influenza is still kicking around.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that while swine flu has waned in every state except Alabama, seasonal flu is increasing in the American population.  Over two dozen states reported regional or local flu activity.   Influenza can be just as deadly as its porcine cousin:  An average of 36,000 people in the U.S. die from flu-related causes every year, according to the CDC.

A biopharmaceutical company that specializes in respiratory diseases is testing a possible solution.  NexBio has begun a Phase II trial of an investigational drug to treat influenza.  DAS181 is formulated to prevent the influenza virus from entering cells in the respiratory tract. The trial will assess the safety and efficacy of DAS181, as well as its effect on viral load.  The study, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health, will take place at over 50 medical centers in the U.S. and Mexico.

San Diego-based NexBio is exploring additional uses for DAS181. The company recently announced data for DAS181 in the treatment of other respiratory conditions, including swine flu and asthma.

Other companies working to treat or prevent influenza include Vaxin, BioDiem, PowderMed, Ltd, Bionor Immuno, and Vaxart.

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