Japan ready to give coronavirus-hit nations anti-flu drug Avigan for free
Germany reportedly wants to purchase large amounts of Avigan
Japan’s government is planning to provide nations stricken by the coronavirus pandemic with the anti-flu drug Avigan free of charge, its top government spokesman said Friday.
Avigan has been developed by a Japanese chemical firm, Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, a unit of Fujifilm Holdings. The clinical trials are currently underway in the Asian country to examine its effectiveness and safety for potential use in treating symptoms caused by the new coronavirus.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told local reporters on Friday that the government has so far received requests for the new drug from about 30 countries.
The government intends to expand clinical trials of Avigan while having discussions with the countries that placed the requests, Suga added.
Japan will provide each of those nations with the amount of the drug they need, free of charge, he said.
Earlier, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Thursday that the German government wants to purchase large amounts of Avigan to treat coronavirus patients with severe illness.
Elsewhere, researchers in China said Avigan proved effectiveness in clinical trials with people infected with the coronavirus.
Berlin is aiming for short-term stockpiling of Avigan, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.
On Saturday, Nikkei Asian Review reported that Japan plans to triple Avigan stockpile with the government help.