The U.S. Food and Drug Administration,FDA has granted approval to baloxavir marboxil for the treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza .The drug has been approved for all patients 12 years of age and older who have been symptomatic for no more than 48 hours.
Earlier FDA had accepted a New Drug Application (NDA) and granted Priority Review for baloxavir marboxil as a single-dose, oral treatment for acute, uncomplicated influenza.The NDA is based on results from the phase III CAPSTONE-1 study of a single dose of baloxavir marboxil compared with placebo or oseltamivir 75 mg, twice daily for five days, in otherwise healthy people with flu.
Studies in past had proved that single-dose baloxavir was superior to placebo in alleviating influenza symptoms, and was superior to both oseltamivir and placebo in reducing the viral load 1 day after initiation of the trial regimen in healthy outpatients with acute uncomplicated influenza. It was also without evident safety concerns. The study had been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“This is the first new antiviral flu treatment with a novel mechanism of action approved by the FDA in nearly 20 years. With thousands of people getting the flu every year, and many people becoming seriously ill, having safe and effective treatment alternatives is critical. This novel drug provides an important, additional treatment option,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “While there are several FDA-approved antiviral drugs to treat flu, they’re not a substitute for yearly vaccination. Flu season is already well underway, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October, as seasonal flu vaccine is one of the most effective and safest ways to protect yourself, your family and your community from the flu and serious flu-related complications, which can result in hospitalizations. Yearly vaccination is the primary means of preventing and controlling flu outbreaks.”
Influenza, or flu, is a respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It is highly contagious and is normally spread by the coughs and sneezes of an infected person.When patients with the flu are treated within 48 hours of becoming sick, antiviral drugs can reduce symptoms and duration of the illness.
“When treatment is started within 48 hours of becoming sick with flu symptoms, antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and shorten the time patients feel sick,” said Debra Birnkrant, M.D., director of the Division of Antiviral Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Having more treatment options that work in different ways to attack the virus is important because flu viruses can become resistant to antiviral drugs.”
The safety and efficacy of Xofluza, an antiviral drug taken as a single oral dose, was demonstrated in two randomized controlled clinical trials of 1,832 patients where participants were assigned to receive either Xofluza, a placebo, or another antiviral flu treatment within 48 hours of experiencing flu symptoms. In both trials, patients treated with Xofluza had a shorter time to alleviation of symptoms compared with patients who took the placebo. In the second trial, there was no difference in the time to alleviation of symptoms between subjects who received Xofluza and those who received the other flu treatment.
The most common adverse reactions in patients taking baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza) are diarrhoea and bronchitis.
Dr. Kamal Kant Kohli
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