Antivirals and Therapeutics

Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid, an inhaled powder, or an intravenous solution) that fight against the flu in your body. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, which fight against bacterial infections. Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick. There are three FDA-approved influenza antiviral drugs recommended by CDC this season to treat influenza. The brand names for these are Tamiflu® (generic name oseltamivir), Relenza® (generic name zanamivir), and Rapivab® (generic name peramivir). Tamiflu® is available as a pill or liquid and Relenza® is a powder that is inhaled. (Relenza® is not for people with breathing problems like asthma or COPD, for example.) Rapivab® is administered intravenously by a health care provider. Viral vectors and viral vaccines more and more play an important role in current medical approaches. Higher safety demands, that is, reduction of side effects, by regulatory authorities like Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA), nowadays force developers as well as manufacturers to improve their production and purification processes for viral vectors and vaccines. For influenza viral vaccines, manufacturers begin to switch from egg cultivation to mammalian cell culture systems.

Flu is a common acute respiratory disease due to a virus that causes annual seasonal epidemics. For prevention of flu antiviral drugs are used. Antiviral drugs are directly target the viruses responsible for influenza infections.The two main classes of antiviral drugs are currently approved for treatment of influenza are : M2 ion channel blockers such as amantadine and rimantadine for Influenza A and neuraminidase inhibitors such as zanamivir and oseltamivir for Influenza A & B. Several new classes of antiviral agents targeting viral replication mechanisms or cellular proteins/processes are under development. Antiviral resistance to oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir among circulating influenza viruses is currently low, but this can change. Also, antiviral resistance can emerge during or after treatment in some patients (e.g., immunosuppressed).

  • Antiviral drugs for influenza
  • Antiviral drug development and treatment strategies, including vaccination
  • Advances in viral detection and identification technologies
  • Novel antiviral therapies for influenza and other respiratory viruses
  • Next generation sequencing of viruses
  • Antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance during flu infection
  • Virus as vectors for human gene therapy

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Antivirals and Therapeutics Conference Speakers

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