Military explores anti-flu drug

Oct. 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM
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FORT BELVOIR, Va., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- An anti-flu drug being developed by the U.S. military and MediVector Inc. has successfully completed Phase 2 double blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.

BioDefense Therapeutics, a joint product management office within the Department of Defense, said the Phase 2 trial showed twice daily dosing of the drug T-705a showed statistically significant decreases in time to alleviate of each of six influenza symptoms.

In addition, subjects receiving T-705a cleared the virus more quickly compared to placebo.

"We are encouraged by this important achievement; it means [BioDefense Therapeutics] is one step closer to providing the military and our nation with safe therapeutics to counter biological threats," said Lt. Col. Eric G. Midboe, U.S. Army, joint product manager for BioDefense Therapeutics. "The rapidly evolving viral flu strains, especially the emergence of drug resistant strains, make a broad-spectrum drug solution essential in any strategy to combat this and similar biological threats."

The military projects that a flu-like pandemic could infect nearly 10 percent of the nation's military personnel per month, significantly reducing military medical and operational capabilities.

In vitro studies of T-705a show significant viral reductions against multiple flu viruses, including H1N1 (seasonal and 2009 pandemic), H5N1, H7N9 and drug-resistant flu strains.

"We are concerned with not only naturally occurring flu strains, but also those that may be biologically engineered," said Dr. Tyler Bennett, assistant product manager for BioDefense Therapeutics. "T-705a has a unique mechanism of action that works by blocking viral RNA replication within the infected cell, giving T-705a the potential to be broad-spectrum.

"We intend to further test T-705a's efficacy against other viruses of interest to the [Department of Defense]."

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