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Japan OKs New Drug, Xofluza, That Kills Flu Virus in a Day

A new drug purported to kill the flu virus in just one day has been approved in Japan and could be for sale in that country by May.

Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) is a pill that's taken just once. Like the current antiflu drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir), the new drug shortens the duration of flu symptoms by a couple of days, ABC News reported.

But the makers of Xofluza say it is more advanced than Tamiflu because it requires just one dose and can kill the flu virus in the body within 24 hours after it's taken, meaning patients will no longer be infectious.

That could be a significant advance in preventing the spread of flu, according to ABC News.

Some late-stage trials of Xofluza are underway in the U.S., but the earliest it might be available would be the 2018-19 flu season, if the FDA approves the drug this year.

Posted: February 2018