Japanese drug producers on Sunday said they expect to launch new influenza drugs possibly from next year in Japan, giving more options for flu treatment.
Drugmakers Shionogi & Co and Daiichi Sankyo Co are aiming to sell a new drug from around next year. Flu patients can have choices besides Tamiflu and Relenza now available from European firms, officials from the drug firms said.
Shionogi's new prescription drug, called Peramivir, will be injected, while Tamiflu is an oral drug and Relenza is to be inhaled.
When a person is not seriously ill, one injection would be sufficient and the drug would be effective even if it is given to a patient after the onset of flu, they said.
In trials, the Shionogi drug demonstrated therapeutic effects against the deadly H5N1 avian flu as well, they said.
In 2007, Shionogi was granted by US firm BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc exclusive rights to develop and sell Peramivir in Japan.