Baloxavir marboxil is a medicinal product currently in development for the treatment of influenza patients aged 12 years and above including patients at high risk of developing influenza complications. Influenza or ‘flu’ is a common virus infection which causes high temperature, body aches, tiredness, cough, sore throat, headache, diarrhoea and nausea. Flu is usually spread by coughs and sneezes and occurs in annual flu seasons (commonly October to May). Most cases of flu will resolve within three to seven days. However flu can be more severe in those who are older, in babies and in people with long term health conditions, such as heart disease, asthma or diabetes.
Baloxavir marboxil is given by mouth as tablets within 48 hours of symptom onset and works in a different way to existing flu medications by blocking a specific process which influenza viruses use to multiply within the body. There is evidence that this medication may be effective in people for whom existing flu medicines do not work. Additionally, only one dose of baloxavir marboxil is needed whereas existing flu medications need to be taken over several days. If licenced, baloxavir marboxil may offer an additional treatment option for patients with influenza.