TOKYO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Japan's Fujifilm Holdings Corp
said on Thursday it has partnered with Shanghai-based
Carelink Pharmaceutical Co to seek approval in China for Avigan
to treat COVID-19 and influenza.
Carelink will use Fujifilm's data on Avigan's treatment of
novel coronavirus infections and influenza to seek imported drug
approval in China, Fujifilm said in a statement. The two
companies also plan to develop an injectable form of the drug.
Fujifilm said last week it was seeking approval for Avigan
as a treatment for COVID-19 in Japan. That followed results from
a late-stage study in Japan that showed the antiviral drug
reduced recovery time for patients with non-severe symptoms.
Avigan, originally developed as an emergency flu drug and
known generically worldwide as favipiravir, has been approved in
India and Russia to treat COVID-19.
Fujifilm sold global rights in July on Avigan to India's Dr
Reddy's Laboratories and Dubai-based Global Response
Aid. That deal excluded China, Japan and Russia.
Last month, Fujifilm said the late-stage study of 156
COVID-19 patients in Japan showed that symptoms of those treated
with Avigan improved after 11.9 days, versus 14.7 days for a
Results of the study, conducted by subsidiary Fujifilm
Toyama Chemical, were found to be statistically significant.
(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Christian Schmollinger
and Muralikumar Anantharaman)