Fujifilm begins clinical trials to test the effectiveness of its anti-flu drug Avigan in treating patients with Covid-19, following success report about the drugs from China.
Trials in China suggested that Avigan could play a major role in shortening the recovery time for patients infected with the deadly virus.
Company spokesperson said: “The trial will be conducted on 100 patients until the end of June. We will collect data, analyse them and file for approval after that.”
Experimentally, the drug will be used for a maximum of 14 days on coronavirus patients between 20 and 74 years old with mild pneumonia.
The study excludes pregnant women due to side effects shown in animal testing.
The phase three trial comes after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revealed that the government will start the process to formally approve (Avigan) as a treatment against the disease that has killed many world wide
China’s Ministry of Science and Technology earlier said that clinical trials on favipiravir (the main ingredient of Avigan) have been completed.
Two trials in the country found the drug shortened recovery time for patients though Fujifilm was not involved in those programs.
Avigan is currently approved for manufacture and sale in Japan as an antiviral drug for flu.
Fujifilm said it is expected that Avigan may potentially have an antiviral effect on the new coronavirus given the way it works on the flu virus.
Experts all over the globe are racing to find a cure for Covid-19, with the focus on existing medicines such as anti-malaria and anti-HIV drugs.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat malaria have shown early promise against the COVID-19 illness in early studies in France and China.
But experts urge caution until bigger trials demonstrate their effectiveness.
Medical researchers around the world are also working to find a vaccine for the virus.
As of Today (April 1: 17:00 CAT), there are 885, 689 confirmed cases of coronavirus globally with 44,216 fatalities and 185,226 recoveries.
Cases in Africa is 5,882 according to africanarguments.com.