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COVID-19 pandemic: Fujifilm applies for approval of Avigan as treatment in Japan

The company said last month a late-stage study of Avigan had shown reduced recovery times for COVID-19 patients with non-severe symptoms and it would seek to file for approval as early as this month

twitter-logoReuters | October 16, 2020 | Updated 09:57 IST
COVID-19 pandemic: Fujifilm applies for approval of Avigan as treatment in Japan
Avigan, known generically as favipiravir, is approved in Japan as a flu medicine

Fujifilm Holdings Corp said on Friday it had applied for approval in Japan for its anti-influenza drug Avigan as a treatment for COVID-19.

The company said last month a late-stage study of Avigan had shown reduced recovery times for COVID-19 patients with non-severe symptoms and it would seek to file for approval as early as this month.

Shares in the company rose 3% on the news. The late-stage study of 156 patients in Japan showed that those treated with Avigan improved after 11.9 days, versus 14.7 days for a placebo group. Results of the study, conducted by subsidiary Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, were found to be statistically significant.

Avigan, known generically as favipiravir, is approved in Japan as a flu medicine. It is now the subject of at least 16 clinical trials around the world but concerns remain about the drug as it has been shown to cause birth defects in animal studies.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had touted Avigan's potential as Japan's contribution to a global race.

Also read: Coronavirus vaccine: These Indian, US firms have entered last stage of clinical trials

Also read: Dr Reddy's reapplies for DCGI nod to conduct trials of Russian vaccine Sputnik V

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