Edited by RHYMER RIGBY: email@example.com.
Every year, flu attacks the British workplace and, as last year's epidemic showed, the costs can be considerable. Relenza, the first of the catchily named 'neuraminidase inhibitors' is Glaxo Wellcome's latest salvo in this hitherto apparently unwinnable war. The drug works by slowing the rate of reproduction by the virus, reducing the duration of an attack by about two days and providing welcome relief from flu symptoms. It also claims to minimise the spread of disease in localised outbreaks - good news for employers who are used to looking on helplessly as the virus rampages its way through offices. Though Relenza is not being marketed as a cure, Glaxo chairman Sir Richard Sykes is touting the drug as one of the company's most exciting new products. The City, however, is less thrilled and foresees only modest sales when the drug is launched later this year.