With the initial positive test results, more than 30 countries have ordered Japanese flu medicine to treat patients with coronary virus infection.
According to the Asian Nikkei Review, the Japanese government has announced its willingness to provide corona virus-free medicines to countries. The drug Favipiravir, registered commercially as Avigan, is an anti-virus drug developed by Toyama Chemical, a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings.
This drug has shown positive results against Covid-19 in clinical trials in China. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that as many as 30 countries had ordered Avigan medicine through diplomatic channels.
“We are arranging to provide this drug for free,” Chief of Staff Suga said. This will also help expand clinical research with this drug.
At the time of the press conference, Suga said that Japan had only 2,617 cases, relatively less than the total of more than 1 million cases worldwide, which made it difficult for large-scale clinical trials.
Indonesia ordered 2 million doses of Avigan on March 20 and plans to test it on the shipment. The country has just witnessed a rise in the number of corona virus infections to 1,986, although weeks before it reported no cases. Indonesia had 181 deaths, higher than South Korea and second only to China in Asia.
Japan has also received similar requests from Turkey. Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca during a meeting with Mr. Akio Miyajima, Japanese Ambassador to Ankara, proposed to buy Avigan.
Earlier, Minister Koca revealed Turkey started using a drug from China to treat Covid-19 infected patients and was effective at an early stage. Media in the country later said the remedy was favipiravir, or Avigan. Turkey has had 20,921 infections and 425 deaths as of April 3.
Meanwhile, the administration of US President Donald Trump has also begun to discuss this issue. Politico said the White House encourages regulatory agencies to adopt remedies for corona virus.
Despite concerns about side effects, the White House’s interest in Avigan grew when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe explained it to President Trump.
German media also reported on Wednesday that the Berlin government is looking to buy large quantities of Avigan medicine, and plans to store millions of boxes for distribution through university hospitals and other institutions in the country. The distribution is supported by the military, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Earlier, the Japanese anti-influenza drug Avigan gained attention when proving positive results against Covid-19 in clinical trials in China. Prime Minister Abe has announced plans to begin the trial process to formally approve corona virus treatment in the country.
Fujifilm claims to have put clinical trials to test Avigan’s effectiveness against the virus and is preparing to boost production. The Japanese government will reserve 2 million doses of this medicine.
Prime Minister Abe said on Tuesday that Japan, the United States and other countries have also begun to perform international experiments with remdesivir, a product that was developed to fight Ebola and has potential in Covid-19 treatment.