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April 1, 2020updated 13 Apr 2020 7:43am

Fujifilm commences Phase III trial of Avigan for Covid-19

Fujifilm Toyama Chemical has started a Phase III clinical trial of its antiviral influenza drug Avigan (favipiravir) for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Japan.

Fujifilm Toyama Chemical has started a Phase III clinical trial of its antiviral influenza drug Avigan (favipiravir) for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Japan.

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Avigan specifically blocks RNA polymerase associated with influenza viral replication.

The mechanism is expected to have an antiviral effect on SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

In Japan, the new Phase III trial will assess Avigan’s safety and efficacy as a potential Covid-19 treatment.

Last month, China’s Science and Technology Ministry official Zhang Xinmin said that favipiravir helped patients recover in an 80-day participant trial conducted in Shenzhen city.

According to the study data, the drug was able to shorten the recovery time from 11 days to four days for mild and moderate cases.

Favipiravir secured Chinese approval for manufacturing by Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical to treat adults with new or recurring influenza. It also holds approval in China as an investigational treatment for Covid-19.

Approved in 2014 for manufacture and sale in Japan for treating influenza, Avigan is intended for use during new or re-emerging influenza virus outbreaks when other drugs are not effective.

Avigan is manufactured and distributed upon request by the government of Japan, which has a stockpile of the drug.

The drug was never distributed in the market and is not available at hospitals and pharmacies in Japan or internationally.

Early last month, Fujifilm started efforts to boost the manufacture of Avigan, with plans to speed-up the production via domestic and international partnerships to meet demand globally.

The company said in a statement: “Fujifilm intends to sincerely cooperate with the supply of Avigan to such countries in consultation and coordination with the Japanese Government to combat Covid-19 and contribute to tackling the spread of this global pandemic at the earliest possible stage.”

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What is the Global Healthcare and Pharma Market Q2 Outlook?

Given the background of high inflation, re-emerging supply chain issues, and the widespread macro-economic implications of the Ukraine conflict, the global pharmaceutical industry is facing an entirely new set of challenges following the turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic. GlobalData’s World Markets Healthcare (WMH) service has released its latest Q2 forecast. This report incorporates the latest thinking on the opportunities and risks this new environment presents for pharma companies. However, the pharma sector is proving resilient, and we are projecting 4.4% global growth for the year ahead. Yet it remains that the current economic picture is inverting some baseline assumptions from previous quarterly forecasts and altering which markets we expect the key growth levers to derive from. Download our latest executive summary for a snapshot view of what our clients use to formulate winning strategies.
by GlobalData
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