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Glaxo wins EU approval for Relenza to prevent flu

Written by: Staff
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LONDON, Aug 24 (Reuters) GlaxoSmithKline Plc said today it had received approval in 15 European countries for use of its antiviral drug Relenza in the prevention of influenza types A and B.

The move means European governments can consider the drug for stockpiling in the event of a flu pandemic, which experts fear could be triggered by the current outbreak of bird flu.

Approval was also given for Relenza to be used as a treatment of flu in children 5 years of age and above.

Previously, Relenza, an inhaled medicine, had only been approved in Europe for treating flu in adults and children aged 12 years and above.

The medicine had already won US clearance as a preventative therapy in March this year.

''This approval is a significant step forward as it provides the medical community in Europe with another option to prevent and treat seasonal influenza, enabling governments to prepare for a potential flu pandemic,'' said David Stout, Glaxo's head of pharmaceutical operations.

REUTERS PB PC2304

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