Fujifilm accelerates production of its influenza antiviral drug “Avigan® Tablet” for COVID-19
TOKYO, April 15, 2020 ― FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has announced that it has expanded its manufacturing capacity at FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd. to significantly increase production of its influenza antiviral drug “Avigan® Tablet” (generic name: favipiravir) for treating patients with COVID-19.
To further boost the supply of Avigan, Fujifilm is allocating additional capacity at its FUJIFILM Wako Pure Chemical Co., Ltd. facility in Japan, for production of pharmaceutical intermediates used to manufacture Avigan. In addition, Fujifilm has established strategic partnerships with domestic and overseas companies for various manufacturing processes to source raw materials and pharmaceutical substances.
Fujifilm expects to progressively increase the monthly production of Avigan up to 100,000 treatment courses* by July 2020, approximately 2.5 times more compared to the beginning of March, when the company first began its current production run. In addition, Fujifilm plans to further accelerate production up to 300,000 treatment courses* by September 2020.
The Japanese government plans to stockpile two million treatment courses* of Avigan, as part of the Japanese government’s emergency economic package announced on April 7. Fujifilm continues to respond to requests from the Japanese government, and will also engage with other countries after consultation with Japanese government.
Avigan, approved in Japan for manufacture and sale as an influenza antiviral drug, selectively inhibits viral RNA polymerase necessary for influenza virus replication. Due to this mechanism of action, Avigan may have an antiviral effect on the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, because like influenza viruses, coronaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses that also depend on viral RNA polymerase.
For the purpose of determining Avigan’s safety and efficacy to treat COVID-19, Avigan, as an investigational product, is being administered in clinical studies to COVID-19 patients.
* A treatment course is the amount of Avigan Tablet described by the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases in its guidance for a regimen of favipiravir to treat COVID-19. This 14-day treatment regimen includes: two loading doses of 1800 mg each on Day 1, followed by two maintenance doses of 800 mg each on Days 2 through 14.
Avigan Tablet was approved for manufacture and sale in Japan in 2014 as an influenza antiviral drug for novel or re-emerging influenza virus infections. Japanese government has a certain stock pile of the drug as a countermeasure against such influenza viruses. Avigan is not approved for distribution in the U.S. or any overseas countries. For more information, please see: http://fftc.fujifilm.co.jp/en/avigan/
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