Chugai to Test Arthritis Drug for COVID-19 Treatment

Economy Science Technology

Tokyo, April 8 (Jiji Press)--Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. <4519> said Wednesday it will start a clinical trial of rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra in Japan to treat patients with pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.

The company under the wing of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche will use the drug on hospitalized COVID-19 patients to confirm its effectiveness and safety.

Actemra, the first therapeutic antibody created in Japan, blocks proteins that trigger inflammatory response. It has been approved in more than 110 countries.

The drug, developed by Chugai Pharmaceutical, went on sale in Japan in June 2005. It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and artery inflammation.

In Japan, Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co., an affiliate of Fujifilm Holdings Corp. <4901>, has started a clinical trial to see the efficacy of its Avigan influenza drug in treating coronavirus patients.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press