* Reduced sensitivity seen to Roche's Tamiflu, GSK's Relenza
* Affects 30 pct N.Australia samples, 10 pct from Singapore
LONDON, June 10 A novel variant of swine flu has
emerged in Asia with a genetic adaptation giving some resistance
to Roche's ROG.VX Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK.L)
Relenza, the two mainstay drugs used to tackle the disease.
Researchers said more than 30 percent of H1N1 swine flu
infection samples from northern Australia, and more than 10
percent of those in Singapore, collected during the early months
of 2011 had mildly reduced sensitivity to the two drugs.
There was no significant reduction in sensitivity to
peramivir, an experimental flu drug from BioCryst
The new variant has also been detected in other parts of
Asia-Pacific, according to a report by the World Health
Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and
Research on Influenza in Melbourne, published in the journal
Although this genetic mutation has seen before in a small
number of seasonal flu and H5N1 bird flu cases, it has not
previously been reported in H1N1 swine flu.
H1N1 flu was discovered in Mexico and the United States in
March 2009 and spread rapidly across the world. The WHO believes
about 18,450 people died from the virus up to August 2010,
including many pregnant women and young people. The WHO declared
the pandemic over in August.
Swine flu has not gone away, however, and seasonal flu
vaccines being offered across the world include for the H1N1
strain. Flu vaccines are made by several drugmakers including
GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi (SASY.PA) and Novartis NOVN.VX.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by David Hulmes)