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Fujifilm to begin clinical trials testing Avigan in COVID-19 patients in Kuwait

Published on 21/07/20 at 10:58am

Fujifilm will begin clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of Avigan in treating coronavirus patients in Kuwait.

The trials will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, from India, and will involve 1,000 people to investigate if the flu drug can work as a treatment for COVID-19.

Earlier this month, Fujifilm said it had granted Dr. Reddy’s exclusive rights to develop, produce and sell Avigan as a potential coronavirus treatment overseas in combination with Global Response Aid.

The trial was originally supposed to be conducted in Japan, and was designed to involve 96 people through late March to June. The trial reportedly ran out of patients, putting an end to the plans of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who hoped to widely use the drug as a COVID-19 treatment.

Kuwait has had double the amount of coronavirus cases compared to Japan so it is hoped there will be a steadier stream of participants in the study who have the virus. If the trial proves successful, Fujifilm will use the data to show the treatment can be used in Japan.

Avigan (favipiravir) is an antiviral medication largely used to treat influenza in Japan. It was approved in the country in 2014 and became a generic drug in 2019.

Conor Kavanagh

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