FUJIFILM Holdings

CSR activity report│Fighting Against COVID-19

Aiming to Cure COVID-19

A therapeutic candidate – Avigan® Tablet – Anti-flu drug

Approved for manufacture and sale in Japan as an influenza antiviral drug, Avigan® Tablet*1 (generic name: favipiravir; hereafter, Avigan), developed by FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd., selectively inhibits RNA polymerase which is necessary for influenza virus replication. Due to this inhibitive mechanism, it was anticipated that Avigan also had an antiviral effect on COVID-19, which is also an RNA virus of the same type as influenza. Against this background, we started a Phase III clinical trial of Avigan on COVID-19 patients with non-serious pneumonia in Japan in March 2020. The results showed that the administration of Avigan shortened the time for symptom improvement with a statistically significant difference. Based on this outcome, in October 2020, we applied for authorization for partial changes to our manufacturing and sales approval in order to add Avigan’s indications and dosage as a treatment for COVID-19 in Japan.

While the global pandemic persists, we are also working to increase the production volume to respond to demands from both Japan and overseas. In June 2020, in preparation for global expansion of Avigan, we concluded partnerships with a major Indian pharmaceutical corporation and a global provider of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals to form networks to secure fast production and supply. In these ways we are contributing to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and termination of the pandemic in the future.

  • *1 Avigan® Tablet: Developed by FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd. Approved in March 2014 as an influenza antiviral drug that can be prescribed in an outbreak of novel or re-emerging influenza virus infections in which other influenza antiviral drugs are either not effective or insufficiently effective, and when the Japanese government authorizes use of this drug as a countermeasure.
  • * This page contains some excerpts from the Sustainability Report.