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Avigan, also known as Favipiravir, is a Japanese flu drug developed by the healthcare arm of Fujifilm. 340 patients taking the drug found it reduces recovery time and improves their lung condition.
Enthralled by COVID-19, the world is waiting for a hero who will find the coronavirus vaccine. And one of the most widely-discussed variants to treat coronavirus today is Favipiravir (or Avigan). Worldwide famous biotech companies such as Gilead Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: GILD), Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX
As the USA has always wanted to be ahead of the curve, it is no surprise that the country is the first in the world to start testing the coronavirus vaccine. It has been developed by the National Institutes of Health in collaboration with Moderna company. The testing on volunteers started on Monday.
But while the U.S. version of the possible vaccine is in the testing stage, China believes there is no need to reinvent the wheel. As the Chinese state, the coronavirus drug already exists.
Japanese Avigan or Favipiravir: Coronavirus Vaccine Already Exists?
The Chinese authorities have declared Favipiravir, also known as Avigan, efficient in treating COVID-19. Avigan is a Japanese flu drug, developed by the healthcare arm of Fujifilm. The testing of Avigan began in February. At that time, the Chinese medical authorities were also considering Remdesivir and Chloroquine Phosphate.
According to The Guardian, 340 patients taking Avigan found it reduces recovery time and improves their lung condition.
Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s science and technology ministry, confirmed the efficiency of the drug:
“It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment.”
As the medical authorities of China have explained, after taking the medicine, patients in Shenzhen turned negative for COVID-19 after a median of four days after becoming positive. In comparison, for those who did not take Avigan, a median was 11 days.
Moreover, the lung condition of the Favipiravir patients improved in 91% of cases. As Zhang Xinmin stated, the drug has no obvious side-effects.
In Japan, doctors are using Avigan in clinical studies on coronavirus patients with mild to moderate symptoms. However, in cases with more severe symptoms, they believe that medicine is ineffective.
Fujifilm Toyama Chemical started manufacturing Avigan in 2014. After the announcement of the Chinese authorities about its efficacy, the shares of Fujifilm Holdings have soared. On Wednesday, they surged by 15%, closing at their daily limit high of 5,238 yen. But as the company said, they are not planning to have any direct earnings impact from the potential sales growth of Favipiravir.