National / Science & Health

France, Guinea eye clinical tests of Japanese drug to treat Ebola

Kyodo

Fujifilm Corp. said Monday the French and Guinean governments are considering initiating clinical trials using the anti-influenza drug Favipiravir developed by its group firm Toyama Chemical Co. to treat patients infected with the Ebola virus.

Fujifilm said it had been asked by France and Guinea to provide the drug for the trials, and was in talks with those two governments and the Japanese government to make the clinical trials possible. A clinical trial is being considered involving about 60 patients in Guinea from November.

The drug, marketed as Avigan Tablet, was approved as an anti-influenza drug in Japan in March but has yet to be approved for treating Ebola.

It was administered for the first time to an Ebola patient — a French female nurse infected while working in West Africa — at a hospital in France last month. She was discharged from the hospital last Saturday, Fujifilm said.

On Saturday, the drug was also administered at a hospital in Germany to a male Ugandan doctor, making him the second Ebola patient to be treated with the drug, according to the Japanese company.

Fujifilm said it has also received request from other countries to provide the drug in the wake of the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

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