Kuwait To Get Avigan From Japan to Fight Coronavirus
Kuwait will take delivery of the first shipment of Favipiravir, an anti-viral medication sold under the brand name Avigan, from Japan next week, the Health Ministry said. The medication donated by the Japanese government with support from the UN comes after clinical trials on several slight and medium cases of the coronavirus cases have shown promising results, according to a health official.
The medicine’s use will be in accordance with the guidelines prepared by Japan and according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the rules followed in Kuwait, Al-Bader said.
Kuwait Health Ministry is awaiting a new quantity of the medication to provide for conducting clinical studies in Kuwait and share their findings with international and scientific organisations,” he added.
As the coronavirus continues to spread, upending economies and life around the world, drug companies have been racing to develop treatments and vaccines. Any early and non conclusive news on these potential medicines has prompted knee-jerk reactions from investors, shifting trillions of dollars in value in the markets.
The global manufacturer and intellectual property owner is Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp and its subsidiary Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd. The Japanese company has a mandate from the Japanese government to produce up to 2 million doses for COVID-19 patients by March 2021 as part of the war on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evidence suggests it can be used to prevent severe COVID-19 when given at the early stages of disease – but it hasn’t shown to have much effect in critically ill cases.
But it has been linked to birth defects in animals. Japan’s Prime Minister admitted the side effects could be ‘the same as thalidomide’, which caused deformities in thousands of babies in the 1950s and ’60s.
According to the report from Globaldata, Avigan is already approved in Japan for the treatment of influenza and the country has announced plans to stockpile two million courses of the oral drug for COVID-19.
What is Favipiravir?
Favipiravir is an antiviral medication that is used for the treatment of influenza in Japan. However, it is only used in the treatment of severe influenza infection in Japan, not on seasonal influenza infection. On 15 March 2020, the drug was approved in China for the treatment of influenza. The drug was approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in the hospital settings in Russia on May 29, 2020, after an ongoing open-label randomized clinical trial had recruited 60 subjects on favipiravir.
What are the side effects of Favipiravir?
The use of favipiravir does not cause any side effect to the human body but its use in pregnancy is restricted as it may cause fetal damage.
What is Avigan?
Avigan is the brand name of the drug favipiravir. It was developed by what is now known as Fujifilm Toyama Chemical and approved for use in Japan in 2014.
How is it being used to treat coronavirus?
Doctors began trying favipiravir to treat coronavirus patients early on, reasoning that its antiviral properties would be applicable. Some initial results suggested the drug could help shorten recovery time for patients, with China’s ministry of science and technology hailing it as yielding “very good clinical results”.