Fujifilm accelerates production of its influenza antiviral drug “Avigan® Tablet” for COVID-19
I read somewhere, that about 4 billion people are forced to stay at home now to slow down and hopefully stop the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
In my country, the stunning Dolomites in Italy, we are locked in since over 1 month now. Of course I strictly follow the rules and never leave my apartment, except to buy food 1 or 2 times a week, and to quickly bring out my old dog in the fields just under my home.
I continue to teach. Just online! With live streaming lessons, videos I upload on youtube [does this qualify me as a vlogger now??? ;) ], material I send to students via email and more. I try to do my best.
But the more I do it, the more I miss it to enter a classroom, write on a blackboard, smell the chalk, but most importantly, interact with my students.
But hey, these days there are people, who live far bigger challenges than me. So no complaint here. Just a wish that everything goes back to normal soon.
The first weeks all went into figuring out how to do this online teaching. Trying different platforms for online live lessons, adapt my material to make it online teaching fit, figure out how to reach the various students best (some have only a smartphone, no computer, no printer, etc), and more practical issues to sort out.
But now that I have some sort of workflow, I can start thinking at my lockdown photography.
In my small rented apartment, I am running out of subjects rather quickly.
- my cat is visibly annoyed by me taking all these picture of her with my new Fujinon XF56mm f/1.2.
- my trusty dog is 15+ years old, and sleeps almost all day. Too little action here
- my lovely wife does not want to pose for some boudoir photography (yet)… I need to convince her, but I won’t make impossible promises like “I won’t buy new gear this year, if you pose for me” :)
What I did now, is I started to take out my Fujinon XF55-200 lens, a lens I hardly use anymore since I own the Fujinon XF18-135mm (which never stops to surprise me, as you can see here).
Get a decent shot of the little birds flying around my balcony, and the XF55-200 is the best lens in my arsenal for that. So it gets its revival now!
So far I have failed, though, not for the limits of the gear, but because of my lack of skills. But I have time to practice, improve, and I will upload an image on my instagram if I get a decent shot.
Another thing I like to do, is to check out all our facebook groups, and see how other fellow Fujifilm X and GFX shooters deal with these lockdown days and what they shoot.
I have picked out some images and shared them below. May them motivate you (and me) to stand up, and do the best out of this situation, also photographically speaking.
COVID-19 Image Roundup
Fujifilm has just issued a press release, where they officially announce that their anti-influenza virus drugs “Avigan ® Tablets” has started a clinical phase II study in patients new coronavirus infection in the United States.
The purpose of this study is to confirm the therapeutic efficacy and safety of Avigan.
The study is scheduled to be conducted at three facilities: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Massachusetts State University Medical School.
In case you are unaware of the different phases, down below is a table taken from wikipedia.
In Japan, they are at Phase III of the tests already, as we reported here.
Last month we reported 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” and how a Japanese health ministry source suggested the drug was not as effective in people with more severe symptom.
A few days later, Fujifilm published another official statement, where they announce the start of phase III clinical trial of “Avigan” on COVID-19 Coronavirus and the commitment to increase production.
Avigan is currently tested all over the world, including here in Italy, where I live. But also in USA and many other countries.
Moreover, Japan plans to provide the anti-flu drug Avigan for free to 20 countries hoping to use it to treat coronavirus patients, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Tuesday.
As a consequence, Fujifilm ramped up production of flu drug Avigan as possible COVID-19 treatment.
Fujifilm or not, let’s hope some cure comes up soon, or this unreal situation will keep up for a long time.
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Cinema5D interviewed top Fujifilm manager Toshi Iida.
It’s a 20 minutes interview I urge you to watch, but if you are in a hurry, here is what the manager says in a quick and practical summary. You can find the full video below.
How COVID-19 Affects Fujifilm