Bone drug might help fight flu viruses

August 14, 2009 2:03:13 PM PDT
Two osteoporosis drugs may have the ability to do more than just protect bones. They may be effective in killing influenza viruses, including the H1N1 swine flu and the H5N1 bird flu viruses. The two drugs are marketed under the brand names Aredia and Reclast.

In the lab, researchers at the University of Hong Kong exposed human cells that have been infected with the influenza viruses to the two drugs. They observed the drugs triggered production of a type of white blood cell that went on to kill the virus infected cells.

Researchers are now planning to test their discovery on people.