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A research team has developed a method to make Tamiflu, the antiviral drug considered the best defense against bird flu, from a chemical compound without using a botanical ingredient used by the Swiss manufacturer F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., it was announced Saturday.

Tamiflu, generically known as oseltamivir phosphate, is currently made from shikimic acid, which is found in star anise, a fruit often used as a spice in Chinese cuisine.

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