Research: Japanese anti-flu drug works on coronavirus
Health officials in China claim that Japan’s Favipiravir, which is used to treat influenza, also works on individual patients infected with COVID-19. This drug, also known as Avigan, is produced by the Japanese company Fujifilm Toyama Chemical.
Zhang Xinmin, a Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology official, said clinical trials of over 340 patients in Wuhan and Shenzhen were published. Patients previously positive for the virus are tested negative on average just four days later, thanks to treatment with this drug.
On the other hand, patients who did not receive the drug showed, on average, that they were negative for the virus after 11 days.
91% of patients who used the drug also improved their lung condition, compared with 62% of those who did not use Favipiravir. According to Cimin, the drug is obviously effective and very safe to administer, reports Guardian.
Japanese doctors have reported similar clinical trials of patients with mild to moderate symptoms, but the Japanese Ministry of Health said the drug did not help the severely ill.
“The drug does not work in those who have already multiplied the virus,”
says Mainichi Jinbun.
The same limitations have been observed in studies where the virus has been tested for antiviral drugs for HIV.
The drug was also used in 2016 to curb the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea.
The drug will need to be approved by the Government for the treatment of COVID-19 as it is originally intended for the treatment of Influenza. It is likely to be approved in May, but if clinical trial results are delayed, approval will also be delayed, writes the Guardian.