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Japan ready to offer flu drug for Ebola treatment

Japan ready to offer flu drug for Ebola treatment
Japan said Monday it is ready to provide a Japanese-developed anti-influenza drug as a possible treatment for the rapidly expanding Ebola outbreak. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that Japan can offer favipiravir, developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings Corp., at any time at the request of the World Health Organization.

The drug, with the brand name Avigan, was developed by Fujifilm subsidiary Toyama Chemical Co. to treat new and re-emerging influenza viruses, and has not been proven to be effective against Ebola.

Favipiravir was approved by Japan’s health ministry in March for use against influenza. Fujifilm is in talks with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, through a U.S. partner, Medivector, to prepare for clinical testing of the drug in treating Ebola, company spokesman Takao Aoki said. He said Ebola and influenza viruses are the same general type, and a similar response can theoretically be expected from Ebola.
Agencies

Agencies

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