While researchers work to characterize the avian flu that has surfaced in Hong Kong, as well as to develop a vaccine, Biota Holdings Ltd. may be able to provide damage control to people who contract the new strain.

Flu viruses enter cells using the envelope protein hemagglutinin, which allows them to bind and penetrate the host cell membrane. After a virus has replicated, the new particles hang outside the cell, anchored to it by sugar chains. Neuraminidase then breaks the chains, allowing the