Avigan, approved in Japan for manufacture and sale as an influenza antiviral drug, selectively inhibits RNA polymerase necessary for influenza virus replication. Due to this mechanism of action, it is expected that Avigan may potentially have an antiviral effect on the new coronavirus, because like influenza viruses, coronaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses that also depend on viral RNA polymerase. On March 31st, Fujifilm announced the start of a phase III clinical trial of Avigan for COVID-19 patients in Japan.
The clinical trial in the U.S. will enroll approximately 50 patients with COVID-19, in collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Fujifilm will continue to work to establish a treatment method for COVID-19 patients through conducting clinical trials, and to contribute to ending the spread of this global pandemic as soon as possible by increasing the production of Avigan in collaboration with strategic partners.