TOKYO: Fujifilm Holdings Corp said on Wednesday its Avigan drug reduced viral loads and symptoms of COVID-19 patients, paving the way for regulatory approval in Japan after months of delays.
The Phase 3 clinical study of 156 patients showed that those treated with Avigan improved after 11.9 days, versus 14.7 days for a placebo group. Results of the study, conducted by subsidiary Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, were statistically significant, the company said in a release.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had touted Avigan’s potential as Japan’s contribution to a global race for coronavirus treatments, aiming for domestic approval in May.
The government called on Fujifilm to triple national stockpiles of Avigan, approved in 2014 as an emergency flu treatment, and pledged to donate it to countries on request.
Fujifilm shares jumped 4.5% in Tokyo versus a 0.4% drop in the broader market.