• Reuters


Fujifilm Holdings Corp. said on Thursday it has partnered with Shanghai-based Carelink Pharmaceutical Co. to seek approval in China for Avigan to treat COVID-19 and influenza.

Carelink will use Fujifilm’s data on Avigan’s treatment of novel coronavirus infections and influenza to seek imported drug approval in China, Fujifilm said in a statement. The two companies also plan to develop an injectable form of the drug.

Fujifilm said last week it was seeking approval for Avigan as a treatment for COVID-19 in Japan. That followed results from a late-stage study in Japan that showed the antiviral drug reduced recovery time for patients with nonsevere symptoms.

Avigan, originally developed as an emergency flu drug and known generically worldwide as favipiravir, has been approved in India and Russia to treat COVID-19.

In July, Fujifilm sold global rights on Avigan to India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Dubai-based Global Response Aid. That deal excluded China, Japan and Russia.

Last month, Fujifilm said the late-stage study of 156 COVID-19 patients in Japan showed that symptoms of 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 found to be statistically significant.

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