We reported a few days ago here, how Zhang Xinmin, director of the science ministry’s China National Center for Biotechnology Development, said that the Fujifilm produced drug Avigan “has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment”.
We also reported how a Japanese health ministry source suggested the drug was not as effective in people with more severe symptom.
Now Fujifilm has issued an official statement you can read below.
Information of Avigan Tablet in relation to Covid-19
March 27, 2020
FUJIFILM Corporation delivers correct information regarding the Avigan Tablet developed by FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd.
The Avigan Tablet was approved for manufacture and sale in Japan in 2014 as an influenza antiviral drug. The drug is to be considered for use only when there is an outbreak of novel or re-emerging influenza virus infections in which other influenza antiviral drugs are either not effective or insufficiently effective, and the Japanese government decides to use the drug as a countermeasure against such influenza viruses. Thus, while the Japanese government has a certain stockpile of the drug, the drug has never been distributed in the market and is not available at hospitals and pharmacies in Japan or overseas.
Favipiravir, the active pharmaceutical ingredient of the Avigan Tablet, has a mechanism that prevents the propagation of viruses. The drug may potentially have an antiviral effect on the novel coronavirus which is classified into the same type (single-stranded RNA virus) of influenza virus. However, at this stage, clinical application of the Avigan Tablet to the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is under study and preparation in order to obtain clear evidence of the drug’s efficacy and safety on the novel coronavirus.
The Avigan Tablet has not been approved for marketing in any countries other than Japan. If the government or regulatory authorities in the countries decides the use of the drug, Fujifilm group intends to cooperate sincerely with the supply of the drug to such countries in consultation and coordination with the Japanese government.
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