) --

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals'

(BCRX) - Get Report

stock price continues to fall as H1N1 flu activity wanes in the U.S., signaling less need for its intravenous antiviral drug peramivir.

Despite all the worries, the H1N1 pandemic appears to be

less severe than previously feared

and may not cause any more patient hospitalizations or deaths than the typical seasonal flu, according to a new study published Monday in

PLoS Medicine


The study used H1N1 activity data reported by health officials in Milwaukee and New York City -- two cities with a good track record of reporting consistent flu data -- to re-assess the virus' overall impact on hospitalizations and death rates.

The study's findings "suggest that an autumn–winter pandemic wave of pH1N1 will have a death toll only slightly higher than or considerably lower than that caused by seasonal influenza in an average year, provided pH1N1 continues to behave as it did during the summer. Similarly, the estimated burden on hospitals and intensive care facilities ranges from somewhat higher than in a normal influenza season to considerably lower," according to a editor's summary of the study available on the

PLoS Medicine

web site.

The study does caution that a H1N1 flu activity could increase again in January, although an increase in the vaccination rate against the virus decreases the likelihood of a flu resurgence.

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You can download the study


. A

Boston Globe

report on the study can be found





remains mum on international stockpiling orders for peramivir. Foreign media outlets have reported small purchases of peramivir in Israel, Mexico and South Korea, but BioCryst has yet to make any announcement. A story published just after Thanksgiving in the

Mexican press,

reported that the country's public health agency had ordered "200 doses", or courses, of peramivir.

BioCryst shares closed Monday at $7.05. The stock is down 42% since hitting a mid-November high of $12.32.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback;

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