By Megan Brooks
WebMD Health News
Feb. 23, 2018 -- Japan's Health Ministry has approved a new drug that reportedly can kill influenza types A and B in as little as 1 day among some patients.
Latest Cold and Flu News
The drug, known as Baloxavir marboxil, can kill flu viruses in 24 hours, although some symptoms could last longer, the company said, according to The Wall Street Journal. It prevents flu spread differently than existing drugs.
Unlike existing flu drugs, such as a Tamiflu, which require patients to take it twice-a-day for 5 days, the Japanese medication is taken in a single dose regardless of age the company said.
Baloxavir marboxil underwent rigorous testing where a total of 1,436 otherwise healthy patients diagnosed with flu participated.
Results of the trial, reported at Infectious Disease Week 2017, showed significant improvement in recovery from flu compared with a placebo.
The new drug also showed significantly quicker reduction in fever.
Shionogi, the drug's manufacturer, said it will launch Xofluza immediately in Japan after the National Health Insurance price listing, but the drug would not be up for approval in the United States before 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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