MEDICAL

Peter Coleman
Australia Crest

Head of the Melbourne based CSIRO team who developed the wonder drug Relenza, which is as close to a cure for influenza as you will get.

The drug blocks the enzyme that releases new 'flu particles and stops the airborne virus spreading from the respiratory tract.

Coleman and his colleagues found one area of the protein virus never changed and concentrated their attention on neuraminidase whilst other researchers throughout the world studied the haemagglutinin molecules. That finding was in August 1982 and tests to date still give the same results. No new strain of 'flu has proved resistant.

The development of the drug was financed by a small biotechnology company called Biota and will be marketed by international conglomerate Glaxo Wellcome.

It could be said that Peter Coleman is the man who helped bring about the demise of the Great Australian Sickie.


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