Avigan is an anti-viral drug still undergoing research in China and Japan. Avigan, also known as Favipiravir has the potential to cure the novel coronavirus. Fujifilm Corporation is the manufacturer of this anti-viral drug. They just announced that the drug will begin trials in the United States in Massachusetts.
Avigan is the anti-viral drug prescribed by Japanese doctors. It helps in curing influenza-like diseases. The Japanese government legalized its sale in the year 2014. This drug interferes with the viral ran replication process. Because the drug helps inhibit RNA polymerase necessary for influenza virus replication procedure.
Japanese PM Shinzo Abe says the influenza antiviral Avigan has been tested clinically with good results in treating coronavirus. Japan plans to increase stock for 2 million people. Japan will also provide the drug for free to other countries, aiming to broaden clinical trials. https://t.co/vXu1RRqDZ4
— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) April 8, 2020
But this action mechanism also gives a chance to fight against the Coronavirus. The COVID-19 virus is a single-stranded RNA virus. But this virus also depends on polymerase reactions.
Cocktails of approved drugs can be used NOW (they're already approved!).https://t.co/MRVAdjBU0V
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) April 10, 2020
Is Avigan being used to treat Coronavirus in the United States?
In the United States of America, nearly 50 patients will be receiving medical trials across 3 hospitals. The hospitals performing the trials include Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts, General Hospital, and Massachusetts Medical School.
Fujifilm already started their phase 3 medical trial. Because this will help understand the efficiency and side effects of the drug. In China, medical facilities are performing trials on Avigan. Both Countries are currently planning to increase drug production by three times. Because this will help cure almost 700,000 people globally.
The drug supply is checked by the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry of Japan. Because of this, Japan’s Government has direct control over the production of the drug. Avigan is not currently available in general markets.
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Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.