Japan to Approve Remdesivir for Coronavirus Patients Thurs.

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Tokyo, May 5 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry plans to approve remdesivir, a potential drug to treat novel coronavirus patients, on Thursday after gaining the backing of an advisory panel, health minister Katsunobu Kato said Tuesday.

"We will approve (the drug) quickly if we receive endorsement" from the Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council, Kato said Kato said on a television program.

After remdesivir was recently approved by U.S. regulatory authorities, the Japanese ministry plans to fast-track its review of the antiviral drug, originally developed as an Ebola remedy, to use it for patients of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

"We want it (the drug) to be used for those in serious condition as early as possible," Kato said.

On Avigan, an influenza drug also seen as a potential cure for COVID-19 patients, Kato said the ministry will make efforts toward approval by the end of this month, a goal set by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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