Japan to ship Fujifilm antiviral to 43 countries for coronavirus studies

May 5, 2020

A drug developed to treat emerging influenza viruses is being sent to around the world to gather more data about its effectiveness against COVID-19.

Late stage clinical trials of Avigan (favipiravir), which was developed by Japan’s Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, are already underway in Japan, China and the U.S., and some results have been encouraging. In one study conducted in China, patients taking the drug tested negative for the novel coronavirus after a median of four days on the treatment — for patients in the control group, it took 11 days for the virus to clear.

Now, Fujifilm is ramping up production of Avigan and is planning to ship the drug to 43 countries for further clinical trials.

According to Fujifilm, Avigan is a viral RNA polymerase inhibitor which works by stopping viral gene replication in infected cells.

Read the CNBC report.