Japan Sent Fujifilm’s Favipiravir (Avigan) to 43 Countries For COVID-19 Trials

We have been following Fujifilm Avigan (Favipiravir) and COVID-19 involvement for a while ( 123456789, 101112, 13) and trials keep coming up with positive results. It is now being reported that Fujifilm is sharing their “wonder drug” via the Japanese Government with 43 countries for approval in the treatments of COVID-19 via the United Nations Office for Project Services. This initial shipment should treat between 20 to 100 people per country.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants favipiravir approved for Covid-19 in May, as Japan moves to fast-track approval for remdesivir as well, which the United States has backed. As of now, Remdesivir is gaining acceptance for the treatment of sever cases of COVID-19, but it is hoped that Fujifilm’s Avigan (Favipiravir) can be used to treat more mild cases.

Japan has tripled the countries stockpile of Avigan (Favipiravir) to provide enough for 2 million people in addition to Fujifilm Toyama Chemical increasing their monthly production by 100,000 treatments a month by July and 300,000 by September. Fujifilm and Japan have not set a price for Avigan (Favipiravir) yet since the government decides the price of medicine, but it seems the country of Japan and Fujifilm are getting behind Avigan (Favipiravir).

“We expect the drug will enhance clearance of virus and shorten the duration of Covid-19 illness,” says Robert Finberg, chair of the  University of Massachusetts Department of Medicine “Previous studies with this drug have indicated that it enhances clearance of influenza. We expect results in approximately one to two months.”

“Avigan is a viral RNA polymerase inhibitor, with a new mechanism of action that inhibits viral gene replication within infected cells,” says Kana Matsumoto, a spokesperson for Fujifilm. “Due to this characteristic, the drug may potentially have an antiviral effect on the viruses classified into the same type (single-stranded RNA virus) as influenza virus.”

Avigan is best known for being approved to treat the plague when there was an outbreak in West Africa but in Japan the drug is only used to fight the influenza viruses when other drugs fail and even then the government has to approve each case. To date more than 2,000 COVID-19 patients have been treated with Avigan (Favipiravir) in Japan. The drug isn’t completely without concern because it has been shown to cause issues with pregnancy, but we will know more soon hopefully.

Other Avigan/COVID-19 Coverage ( 123456789, 101112, 13)

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via CNBC

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