Wed, 25 Nov 2020

TOKYO, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Fujifilm Holdings Corp. will partner with China's Carelink Pharmaceutical Co. to market the former's anti-viral drug Avigan to treat COVID-19 cases in China, the Japanese firm said Thursday.

A subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings will also collaborate with the Shanghai-based pharmaceutical company to develop a version of the drug that can be given to patients by way of parenteral administration, most likely by injection.

Sources close to the matter said the health ministry here received a filing for approval to market Avigan as a COVID-19 treatment by Fujifilm Holdings last Friday.

The drug, also known as favipiravir, if approved by the health ministry, would be the third COVID-19 treatment Japan has developed, some collaboratively, to treat the virus.

The Japanese government said in May that it was planning to approve the use of Avigan, also known as an anti-influenza drug, to be used to treat patients infected with the virus.

At the time Japan said it planned to triple its stockpile of Avigan to treat 2 million people, while also committing to making the drug available for free to more than 40 other countries for clinical trials, with around 80 countries having shown interest in the drug at the time.

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