‘Miracle’ 24-hour flu pill Xofluza foiled by resistant strains

TOKYO—A new pill that can kill the flu virus in 24 hours with a single dose has become the most-prescribed influenza treatment in Japan, which is suffering through its worst flu season in two decades.

The pill, called Xofluza, was discovered by Osaka-based Shionogi4507, -2.70% and it was approved last year by regulators in Japan and the U.S. In the U.S., it is marketed by Roche Holding AG’sRHHBY, +1.66%  Genentech unit.

The drug quickly gained the top share in Japan, according to Shionogi’s data, in part because of its ease of use. Roche’s Tamiflu, the best-known competitor, is generally taken twice a day for five days, while Xofluza is taken just once. A small number of patients report side effects such as diarrhea and bronchitis, according to Genentech.

The drug is still relatively little-used in the U.S., where the list price is $150 for patients without insurance. It was the first anti-flu medication approved in the U.S. in nearly 20 years.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

Popular on WSJ.com:

Tesla is cranking out Model 3s—now it has to service them

It’s the real world—with Google maps layered on top

Want news about Asia delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to MarketWatch's free Asia Daily newsletter. Sign up here.

Source: Read Full Article