Nikkei wrote that Fujifilm Holdings Corp. said on Thursday that this week it will start clinical tests of its anti-flu drug Avigan in the United States for patients of the new coronavirus.
Kyodo News filed a similar story saying that Fujifilm began clinical trials of Avigan for COVID-19 patients in Japan on March 31, and some 50 COVID-19 patients will be involved in tests in the United States in collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. If the safety and efficacy of Avigan are confirmed, the Japanese government might approve the drug for COVID-19 treatment this summer. Fujifilm Holdings has been asked by the government to increase the output of the drug in the wake of the spread of the virus. In a stimulus package approved Tuesday, the government earmarked 13.9 billion yen ($127 million) to triple the national stockpile of Avigan, enough to treat 2 million people.