Oseltamivir (INN) (Tamiflu) is an antiviral drug that slows the spread of influenza (flu) virus between cells in the body by stopping the virus from chemically cutting ties with its host cell—median time to symptom alleviation is reduced by 0.5–1 day. The drug is sold under the trade name Tamiflu and is taken orally in capsules or as a suspension. It has been used to treat and prevent Influenzavirus A and Influenzavirus B infection in over 50 million people since 1999.
Oseltamivir is a prodrug, a (relatively) inactive chemical which is converted into its active form by metabolic process after it is taken into the body. It was the first ''orally active'' neuraminidase inhibitor commercially developed. It was developed by C.U. Kim, W. Lew and X. Chen of US based Gilead Sciences and is currently marketed by Hoffmann–La Roche (Roche). In Japan, it is marketed by Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., which is more than 50% owned by Roche.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 264 out of over 15,000 samples of the prevalent 2009 pandemic H1N1 (swine) flu tested worldwide have shown resistance to oseltamivir, contrasting sharply with the 99.6% of the seasonal H1N1 flu strains tested which have resistance to oseltamivir.
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