Coronavirus, Hope: forward with testing Avigan. The manufacturer: no evidence that it works

23 march 2020L’the Italian drug Agency (Aifa) “proceeds on the testing of the medicine Avigan”. It is announced by the minister of Health, Roberto’s Hope, by adding that the director general of Aifa, Nicola Magrini, “has informed me that the meeting of the Technical-Scientific Committee this morning, after a first analysis on the available data related to Avigan, is developing a programme of experimentation and research to evaluate the impact of the drug in the early stages of the disease”.

In the coming days, “the protocols will be made operational, as is already the case for the other ongoing trials,” said Hope, after the meeting with the top management of Aifa.

The shower was cold
“At the moment there is no scientific evidence clinical that demonstrate the efficacy and safety of Avigan against Covid-19 in patients”. This is explained by the Corporate Senior Director of Fujifilm Italy, Mario Lavizzari following the news about a trial in Italy. Fujifilm expects to initiate a clinical study in Japan. “Fujifilm is aware of the serious situation that is occurring in Italy, however, at this stage, the Fujifilm is not able to disclose any of the plan for the use of Avigan in other Countries”.

Avigan, explains the company, is now administered to patients Covid-19 in Japan for the purpose of an observational study conducted by the medical institutions that cooperate with the team established by the National Center for Health and Medicine Global of Japan (National Center for Global Health and Medicine of Japan). “We also know that Favipiravir (generic version) was administered to patients Covid-19 in China. Fujifilm has not played any role in the research referred to above and is therefore not in a position to comment on these results”, reads the note.

Avigan was developed by FUJIFILM’s Toyama Chemical and was approved in 2014 in Japan as a drug for anti-influenza. Should be administered to those who have been infected from a new flu or the re-emergence of infections of the influenza virus, when another medication flu does not work, is explained in the note of the company. The medication must be provided only at the discretion of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry in Japan). In view of the dissemination of news in the media about the drug Avigan “is not always precise, Fujifilm Italia, in agreement with the general headquarters of the Tokyo company, has prepared a note to give precise directions on the product and its history”. The company is also know to be engaged in these weeks, with their technology and their technical side of the many medical facilities in Italy and in the world”.