Photo: REUTERS file

Fujifilm seeks approval for Avigan as COVID-19 treatment in Japan


Fujifilm Holdings Corp said on Friday it was seeking approval for its flu drug Avigan as a treatment for COVID-19 in Japan, a move that comes after a late-stage study showed reduced recovery time for patients with non-severe symptoms.

Shares of the company closed roughly 3% higher on the news.

The Nikkei newspaper last month cited ministry sources saying approval could be granted to the drug within a month of its application.

Japan has already approved Avigan, known generically as favipiravir, as an emergency flu medicine, which is the subject of at least 16 clinical trials around the world. But concerns remain, as the drug has been shown to cause birth defects in animal studies.

Japan's government has called on Fujifilm to triple national stockpiles of the drug. The company said in a statement it has been working with strategic partners to meet that goal and requests by other countries to supply the drug.

Fujifilm in July signed a deal with India's Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Dubai-based Global Response Aid to sell Avigan for COVID-19 globally, excluding in China, Japan and Russia. The drug has been approved to treat COVID-19 in India and Russia.

Last month, Fujifilm said the late-stage study of 156 COVID-19 patients in Japan showed that symptoms of 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.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I hope it will work out for Japan, it appears to have a good record in other countries (according to article) . . . the other countries of the world also need a better hope.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I have seen this news article so many times since the beginning of COVID. So far Fujifilm have been seeking approval 50 times, and considered the drug as a treatment about 100 times.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I hope it works but I am not going to be the first one in line to try it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

WHO reported Remdesivir not effective to COVID 19. Avigan is the same type of anti-virus medicine. Both are existing medicine for other virus infections. So far, there is no medicine discovered directly working for COVID 19. This will become a long war.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It doesn't work.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It doesn't work.

No, it doesn't. But it was decided a long time ago that it will be approved. Reversing a decision is a huge loss-of-face, so it almost never happens.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Time for the CEO to have another game of golf, maybe this time with PM Suga or MHLW Tamura.

Results of the study, conducted by subsidiary Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, were found to be statistically significant.

Reported in the WSJ earlier, studies are looking at the doses required, as well as the possibility of it being used in combination with other drugs, but some have not been published due to a lack of statistical significance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If we don't have any knowledge, I think we should not make any comments. Fuji could not apply for a long time due to lack of many patients for clinical trials in Japan. However, I agree that Avigan is not efficient to the serious patients.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Thomas Goodtime

It doesn't work.

Is there a link or articles for this? (I just haven’t heard this). Not posting for argument sake but since I live here I want to read up on it a bit.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This was all decided when Abe was in power. Should have called it Abegain

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The potential to be the new Thalidomide then.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

From reporting in India (Deccan Chronicle)...

"However, the positive results from the study should be interpreted with caution as other therapies were administered in this non-randomised, open-label study, which could have confused the results. “

So, in other words, 'success' is unsubstantiated and needs to be taken with a grain of salt, until further testing proves otherwise. Or not.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

BBC reported on it as well:

Covid: Remdesivir 'has little or no effect' on survival, says WHO

They got Trump to take Remdesivir (mixed in with other treatments) to create more demand for it and "say" that it is 'effective'.

If you look at the details (and their sources) VS what they are presenting to you in the news you'll realize that they're trying to keep people in FEAR for a reason: Pharma product demand / sales

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No report of study of effectiveness of the drug against corona virus from external independent credible institutions. Human lifes are involved, hope nationalism is kept out of decisions regarding drugs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The New York Times ran an article saying that Avigan is worse than useless; it actually causes harm.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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