Japanese Flu Drug Can Treat COVID-19, says China

Flu Drug

A Japanese firm in China has developed an effective flu drug to treat the new strain of influenza virus COVID-19 that has shaken the whole world. The drug was successful in its trial phase and it turned patients with coronavirus negative from positive after a median of 4 days.

According to Chinese medical authorities, a drug named favipiravir developed by a subsidiary of the Japanese Company, Fujifilm was effective in treating coronavirus patients in Japan. According to the report, 340 patients with coronavirus were given the anti-viral drug and all shown positive results and turned negative with a significant improvement in their lungs. An official in China’s science and technology ministry, Zhang Xinmin said that the drug is highly effective and safe for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

This new drug has crossed other similar drugs developed in showing significant improvements. It turned patients suffering from the coronavirus negative after the medication of just four days while with no drug patients negative after the median of 11 days. Moreover, the lung condition of coronavirus patients got far better when they were X-rayed. After treatment with this drug, patients shown improvement of 91 percent compared to 62 percent improvement in patients who were not given the drug.

Doctors are currently using the favipiravir drug on coronavirus patients in clinical studies. The patients had mild to moderate symptoms and the point was to stop the virus from multiplying in patients. But a Japanese health ministry source said that drug was not as effective in people with severe symptoms. Favipiravir has no obvious side-effects.

Last month, Chinese media reported that the anti-viral drug received approval as an investigational therapy for coronavirus Covid-19 infection. The clinical trial in Wuhan revealed that favipiravir given patients recovered in 2.5 days on average while it took only 4.6 days to recover with a cough which means that they recovered 1.4 days earlier than those who did not take the drug. Another clinical trial in Shenzhen city in China was conducted which involved 80 participants. The results demonstrated significant chest improvement shown on CT scans.

Tyler Van Buren, an analyst with Piper Sandler has said that “If successful, it could be approved for broad use in the coming months considering it’s safe, the bar for efficacy in the context of the ongoing global pandemic is low.

World health organization has listed this drug as part of its experimental protocol for treating the disease. Favipiravir will require the government’s approval for full-scale use on Covid-19 coronavirus patients, since it was originally intended to treat flu.

The company’s shares jumped by 15% on Wednesday morning after the news broke out about the flu drug.

The Covid-19 pandemic has so far crossed 250,000 cases, deaths count has crossed 10,400 and 89,061 patients have recovered. China has massively recovered and stopped the spread. The epicenter of the virus has shifted from China to Europe, where Italy is the most hit country, where the virus has claimed 3,405 lives.

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