Fujifilm Avigan Progress In The Fight Against COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Western media is starting to catch up with Fujifilm Avigan coverage while Asian media has been almost exclusively covering the wonder drug. Fiercepharma published some more information about Avigan (favipiravir) based on a report by Nikkei Asian Review that gives some insight into how the drug works for those interested. Fujifilm also released a statement Friday which we covered here.

Fujifilm pointed out in its announcement that favipiravir, the active pharmaceutical ingredient in the tablet, has a “mechanism of action that prevents the propagation of viruses…that might  have an antiviral effect on the novel coronavirus.” COVID-19 is classified into the same type (single-stranded RNA virus) as influenza virus. To test that possibility, clinical trials are underway to seek “clear evidence of the drug’s efficacy and safety,” Fujifilm said.

Avigan has been rolled out before, including in 2015 against Ebola and in 2016 for avian influenza. At the time, the company made this prophetic observation:

“The need to develop new drugs for treating influenza has come amidst mounting concerns–in recent years that avian influenza viruses could mutate into a new type of virus, capable of human-to-human transmission. Such a mutation could potentially trigger a pandemic.”

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also made a statement over the weekend based on reports that clinical trials of the drug in China showed it effective against COVID-19. Japan will begin trials of the drug on COVID-19 in cooperation with other countries and ramp up production with the aim of a quick approval, as reported by Nikkei Asia Review. It was also announced that Fujifilm is ready to mass-produce the drug for countries interested. This is our 6th report about Avigan (favipiravir) ( 1234, 5) and so far the drug has had overwhelmingly positive results.

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via Fiercepharma, Nikkei Asian Review, Nikkei Asian Review 2

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