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China: Favipiravir effective in treating coronavirus patients

A traveller is disinfected as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus before getting on a bus outside the New China International Exhibition Centre, near Beijing Capital Airport in Beijing on March 17, 2020. (GREG BAKER / AFP)

BEIJING – China has completed the clinical research of Favipiravir, an antiviral drug that has shown good clinical efficacy against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to an official Tuesday.

Favipiravir, the influenza drug which was approved for clinical use in Japan in 2014, has shown no obvious adverse reactions in the clinical trial, said Zhang Xinmin, director of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development under the Ministry of Science and Technology, at a press conference.

More than 80 patients have participated in the clinical trial in The Third People’s Hospital of Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong Province, including 35 patients taking Favipiravir and 45 patients on a control group.

Results showed that patients receiving Favipiravir treatment turned negative for the virus in a shorter time compared with patients in the control group.

A multi-centered randomized clinical study led by the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University also suggested that the therapeutic effect of Favipiravir is much better than that of the control group.

Favipiravir has been recommended to medical treatment teams and should be included in the diagnosis and treatment plan for COVID-19 as soon as possible, Zhang said.

A Chinese pharmaceutical company has been approved by the National Medical Products Administration to mass-produce the drug and ensure stable supply, Zhang added.

Source :China Daily

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