Glaxo's opportunity more apparent than real?

Glaxo's opportunity more apparent than real?

Just because a disease indication is large doesn't mean that a product will find a significant market. Such may be the case with Glaxo Wellcome's new Zanamivir neuraminidase inhibitor, which is the first compound in its class to show evidence of clinical efficacy against influenza.

The compound achieved a statistically significant reduction in days of symptoms from 5 to 4 in a Phase II trial (see Clinical Results, B10).

Although the one-day improvement may not be compelling to the average flu sufferer, sicker patients fared better in the study. In patients with fever when they enrolled, as well as in patients who began treatment within 30 hours of onset of symptoms, median time to alleviation of symptoms was 4 days in treated groups and 7 days in the placebo group (p<0.01).

Nevertheless, given that antivirals are already available, and that improved flu vaccines are also being tested with encouraging results, the Glaxo product may have

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