• Kyodo

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The French National Institute of Health and Medical Research said Thursday that clinical trials of the Japanese influenza drug Avigan Tablet, also known as Favipiravir, are showing encouraging results on Ebola patients in Guinea.

The office of the French president was informed of the news and said in a statement the trials had reduced deaths and accelerated patients’ recovery, French public radio reported.

Avigan, developed by Toyoma Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings Corp., could become the first effective medicine to treat Ebola, which has caused nearly 9,000 deaths mainly in West Africa.

Inserm, as the institute is known, has been conducting clinical trials since Dec. 17, so far giving the drug to around 80 patients. A French female nurse recovered from Ebola in October after receiving it and other medications.

Avigan was chosen because Inserm believes it can be produced on a large scale and does not cause severe side-effects.

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