Japan Gives Up May Approval of Avigan as COVID-19 Treatment

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Tokyo, May 26 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government gave up its plan to approve influenza drug Avigan as a coronavirus treatment by the end of this month, health minister Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference Tuesday.

Kato cited a lack of data showing the drug's effectiveness in the treatment of the disease caused by the new coronavirus. "Clinical trials and researches will continue, and we hope to swiftly approve the drug as soon as its effectiveness is confirmed," he said.

On May 4, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government will aim for the May approval of Avigan.

The agent, developed by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co., a Fujifilm Holdings Corp. <4901> subsidiary, is seen as a potential treatment for coronavirus patients with mild symptoms.

Clinical trials of Avigan on coronavirus patients and clinical researches of the drug by a university are underway, while the risk of birth defects has been found as a side effect.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press