Investigational Influenza Treatment Speeds Flu Symptom Relief

A single dose of intramuscular peramivir (Rapivab) alleviated the symptoms of influenza in 2 clinical trials.

In a poster presentation at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy in Washington, DC, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals announced that a single dose of its investigational intramuscular peramivir (Rapivab) influenza treatment alleviated flu symptoms in patients who participated in 2 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials of the drug.

Based on that trial data, the neuraminidase inhibitor (NAI) is also being regarded as generally safe and well tolerated.

"Peramivir is the first NAI that has shown to be safe and effective as a single-dose therapy for patients with acute, uncomplicated influenza," said study author Richard Whitley, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "In a combined analysis of 2 randomized placebo-controlled trials, a single dose of peramivir administered parenterally alleviated flu symptoms, including fever, significantly faster than placebo and reduced viral shedding."

When the antiviral agent enters the body, it rapidly delivers high plasma concentrations to the sites of infection, BioCryst explained. In the trials, influenza viral shedding decreased within 48 hours of peramivir 300 mg treatment, and the median time to fever resolution was reduced by 24 hours.

Peramivir was developed under a $234.8 million contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the US Department of Health and Human Services. The drug’s indication for the treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza in adults is currently under FDA review.