A triple antiviral drug combination significantly decreased viral shedding in a comprehensive study assessing combination antivirals for the treatment of influenza, but with no more clinical benefit than a single agent having less virological effect.

“The scarcity of evident clinical benefit despite enhanced viral clearance is both intriguing and disappointing,” John Beigel, MD, Leidos Biomedical Research, Frederick, MD, wrote in support of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and colleagues.

The results corroborate the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stance on using virological primary endpoints for candidate antiviral studies. The FDA has previously indicated that “there is no established predictive relationship between the magnitude and timing of viral reductions and extent of clinical benefit of how a patient ‘feels, functions, or survives’.”