New flu drug performs well in early clinical trial

Radavirsen is an antisense oligomer that inhibits the production of certain influenza proteins.
By Amy Wallace  |  Sept. 20, 2017 at 12:24 PM
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Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Researchers are reporting that a phase 1 clinical trial of the drug radavirsen, a new drug to fight influenza, is safe and well-tolerated in healthy individuals.

The study, published today in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, of 56 healthy participants tested whether radavirsen, an antisense oligomer that halts the production of certain influenza proteins, is safe for use.

"This is the first demonstration of the safety and tolerability and pharmacokinetics of an antisense oligonucleotide for the treatment of influenza A," researchers wrote in the study.

Researchers screened 66 healthy individuals, giving 56 participants radavirsen between 2013 and 2015, with each receiving single intravenous doses of the drug ranging from 0.5 to 8 mg/kg or a placebo.

Among participants, 74 percent of those receiving the drug had at least one adverse event, as did 93 percent of those given a placebo. The most common adverse effect found among study participants were headache and proteinura.

Overall, researchers report that radavirsen was safe and well-tolerated in the majority of study participants, recommending that trials be conducted testing its efficacy treating patients with influenza.

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