Fujifilm Holdings to Boost Avigan Production for Potential Covid-19 Treatment

Fujifilm Holdings Corp. said Wednesday it will more than double the production of Avigan by July in response to growing interest in the flu drug as a possible treatment for Covid-19.
The Japanese drugmaker will increase the production of Avigan so that it will be enough for 100,000 treatment courses a month by July, about 2.5 times more than at the beginning of March, and it aims to boost it to 300,000 treatment courses a month by September, it said.
The Japanese government planned to stockpile enough Avigan for two million treatment courses as part of its emergency economic package, Fujifilm said.
Fujifilm said earlier this month that it will conduct a clinical trial in the U.S. to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Avigan for patients with Covid-19. In Japan, a nationwide Avigan trial began several weeks ago.
Avigan hasn’t been used in Japan to treat regular flu because studies in monkeys, rabbits and mice suggested that if a pregnant woman took the drug, it could cause deformities in or kill the fetus.