Japan Says Avigan Won’t Be Approved as COVID-19 Drug This Month

By Kyodo News 26 May 2020

TOKYO—Japan has given up on approving Fujifilm Holdings Corp.’s anti-influenza drug Avigan this month for the treatment of patients infected with the new coronavirus, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said Tuesday.

“We will continue the clinical study and clinical tests [of the drug] in June and onwards. There is no change in our policy to approve the drug swiftly if its efficacy [against the coronavirus] is confirmed,” Kato told a press conference.

There is a belief that Avigan, also known as favipiravir and developed by Fujifilm Holdings’ unit Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co., can be used as a treatment for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.

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