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Local company benefits from flu

Alabama's own BioCryst announced today in a press release that an order for 10,000 courses of intravenous (i.v.) peramivir (600 mg once-daily for five days) has been placed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The order was shipped yesterday.

Peramivir is an antiviral medication that has shown to be an effective treatment for H1N1 in preliminary trial results. As a result, the FDA has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), which allows the drug to be administered to a sub-set of patients who are hospitalized with confirmed or clinically suspected 2009 H1N1 influenza infection.

This is good news this year, coming after last year's work-force reduction, and the 2007 news that the same drug was somewhat ineffective in treating the avian flu.

The HHS has an option of buying many more lots of the product, and it appears that things are looking up for this local biotech corporation.

As always, please note that this column is not intended to be used as investing advice, nor intended to indicate the potential efficacy of any product.  For full information, please see the press release from today.