Fujifilm to Seek Approval for Coronavirus Treatment
On September 23rd, Fujifilm of Tokyo, Japan, announced that a clinical trial has shown that its Avigan (also know as favipiravir), which has been used to treat influenza, also treats mild cases of the coronavirus. It will be filing for approval from the Japanese government as early as October to expand usage of Avigan for treating the coronavirus.
Fujifilm’s Avigan trial is said to have shown the alleviation of coronavirus symptoms such as body temperature, oxygen saturation, and chest-related symptoms. Additionally, COVID-19 patients tested negative for the virus in 11.9 days, compared to 14.7 days for a placebo group.
Fujifilm also said it observed no safety concerns in the trial.
Approved for manufacture and sale in Japan as an influenza antiviral drug, Avigan, selectively inhibits RNA polymerase necessary for influenza virus replication. Due to this mechanism, Fujifilm believes that Avigan may have an antiviral effect on the new coronavirus, as they are RNA viruses of the same type as influenza viruses.
To meet the requests of the Japanese government to increase stockpiles of Avigan, and by other countries to supply the drug, Fujifilm has been working to increase production of Avigan in collaboration with strategic partners.
The company says it “will work to deliver the treatment drug to COVID-19 patients as soon as possible, and contribute to ending the spread of COVID-19.”