Roche To License Bird Flu Drugs

Swiss pharmaceutical group Roche has asked generic drug firms to help speed up the manufacture of a key anti-viral ahead of a feared bird flu pandemic. Demand has soared for the drug Tamiflu, which can fight the H5N1 avian flu strain causing concern at the moment. "We will have much more Tamiflu available than if Roche produced it itself," said New York Senator Charles Schumer after talks with Roche. The firms Teva, Barr, Mylan and Ranbaxy aim to start production within a month.

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