China Approves Favipiravir as Potent Treatment against New Coronavirus COVID-19 Strain

Updated on Feb 17, 2020 at 6:35 pm UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Favipiravir has become one of the drugs that the Chinese authorities approved for treating the new COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus.

According to a Reuters report, China’s National Health Commission is optimistic about a resolution for the raging coronavirus. The report says that a spokesman for the Commission Mi Feng said that efforts from the authorities are yielding results. The Commission also says that at least 1,425 infected patients have been cured and discharged. As part of these efforts to curb the coronavirus outbreak, the government has approved the sale of a drug, Favipiravir, in treating the new coronavirus strain, COVID-19.

Favipiravir Approved for Coronavirus Treatment

Another report states that Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, one of China’s largest pharmaceutical companies, has gotten the green light from Chinese authorities. The company can now begin selling Favipiravir to treat the virus.

The approval states that even as the drug enters the market, the company must keep on with clinical trials of the drug. Japan’s Toyama Chemical Company is responsible for developing Favipiravir.

Favipiravir and Other Coronavirus Treatments

Recently, the director of the China National Centre for Biotechnology Development Zhang Xinmin confirmed Favipiravir at a press conference. According to him, clinical trials have started in Shenzhen and at least 70 patients are on the Favipiravir trial list.

Zhang has also said that Favipiravir is not only effective but has ignorable side effects. Speaking on its potency, he said:

“Three to four days after treatment, the group that takes the drug has a significantly higher turning-negative rate in the viral nucleic acid than the parallel group.”

Apart from Favipiravir, clinical tests are checking other drugs. According to Zhang, other drugs include Remdesivir and Chloroquine Phosphate. Researchers chose those three drugs as the most potent after wading through a significant number of options.

According to him, the researchers used computer simulations and cellular tests to narrow down an initial 70,000 drugs.

Chloroquine Phosphate is an antimalarial drug used for many years in malaria-prone countries. Recent research and experiments have now shown that the drug is potent enough to treat the coronavirus pneumonia.

Just like Chloroquine, Remdesivir is not a new drug and is for treating Ebola. Developed by Gilead Sciences, it has also shown that it is quite potent against the new COVID-19.

Coronavirus So Far

An American woman who was on a cruise ship which recently docked in Cambodia tested positive for COVID-19. The woman tested positive after she landed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Cambodian authorities and other governments, as well as the Holland America Line, are now making frantic efforts to contact other passengers on the boat, testing them for symptoms.

At the moment, the Chinese Health Commission says that more than 546,000 people have had close contact with infected patients. More than 150,000 are under medical observation.

Asian markets are. however, trading in green. The general thought is that investors all over the continent are now more optimistic because of the general efforts China is making.

Business, Markets, News, Stocks
Tolu Ajiboye
Author: Tolu Ajiboye

Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.

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