The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has awarded a contract to develop an experimental antiviral drug for hospitalized or high-risk flu patients. Studies to date suggest that the drug may provide clinical benefits when administered much later than 48 hours after symptoms begin. “Typically patients are not hospitalized within 48 hours of developing flu symptoms, so doctors and their patients need treatment options that are effective later in the course of illness,” said Robin Robinson, director of ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. “This is a critical health priority as tens of thousands of flu patients are hospitalized each year in the United States and that number can be even higher in a pandemic.”