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March 22, 2006

Bird Flu Survival: Generic Tamiflu CreatedRoman Wilderness

Scientists in Vietnam say they have successfully extracted a key substance from a local plant to make a generic version of Tamiflu, the drug used to treat the H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Researchers say they used star anise, a plant used to flavour food, to extract shikimic acid, a key ingredient in the anti-viral drug.

Vietnam's Chemistry Institute says the breakthrough means it will be able to produce a generic form of Tamiflu in an emergency.

Star anise is extracted from the star-shaped fruit of a tree found in China and Vietnam.

The scarcity of the plant has been blamed in part for a global shortage of Tamiflu.

Worldwide demand for the drug surged last year, when dozens of countries ordered the drug for their national stockpiles.

Read Source Article: Australian Broadcasting Agency

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Posted by dymaxion at March 22, 2006 01:22 PM

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