A drug that flopped in tests to treat sepsis may offer a new way to treat influenza, University of Maryland researchers reported on Wednesday. If it works in people, it might provide a new defense against emerging new viruses such as the H7N9 bird flu virus circulating in China. According to Joan Nichols, a flu expert at UTMB, the new drug, called Eritoran, has a lot of potential. “This drug could be used to treat people who are already symptomatic,” she said. “You might not see as many deaths.”