Favipiravir, coronavirus, patients, China

Favipiravir effective in making coronavirus patients recover, says China

Story by AFP

Influenza drug Avigan or Favipiravir has been effective, with no noticeable side-effects, in helping coronavirus patients recover, China’s ministry of science and technology said earlier this week.

Better known for its cameras, Fujifilm developed Avigan (name of the drug) and licensed the patent for favipiravir to Chinese company Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical.

An official at China’s Science and Technology Ministry, Zhang Xinmin, said on Tuesday that some clinical trials have been completed on favipiravir — the main ingredient in the influenza drug Avigan, which Fujifilm markets.

The trials using the drug as a treatment for COVID-19 showed “very good clinical results”, the official said at a press conference.

A trial involving 80 cases conducted by a hospital in Shenzhen and a study of 120 cases led by Wuhan University’s Zhongnan Hospital both showed the drug shortened the recovery time for patients.

Clinical tests using Avigan as a treatment for the virus have also started in Japan.

Fujifilm shares soar

Shares in Japanese firm Fujifilm Holdings sky-rocketed on Wednesday after the drug got an endorsement from the Chinese authorities.

Fujifilm Holdings stock started the day untraded because of a glut of buy orders, before soaring 15.4 percent to 5,238 yen, the highest level allowed during trade for the day.

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