Japan has begun clinical trials to test the effectiveness of the anti-flu drug Avigan in treating patients with coronavirus, according to latest report.
Following promising result in China, Japan commenced the trials for the drug which shortens the recovery time for China’s coronavirus patients.
A company spokesman said on Wednesday: “The trial will be conducted on 100 patients until the end of June.
“We will collect data, analyse them and file for approval after that,” he added.
The drug will be administered for a maximum of 14 days to coronavirus patients between 20 and 74 years old with mild pneumonia, the spokesman said.
The study excludes pregnant women due to side effects shown in animal testing, he added.
The phase three trial comes after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Saturday that the government “will begin the necessary process to formally approve (Avigan) as a treatment against the new coronavirus.”
“It is expected that Avigan may potentially have an antiviral effect on the new coronavirus” given the way it works on the flu virus, Fujifilm said in a statement announcing the trial.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat malaria have shown early promise against the COVID-19 illness in early studies in France and China.