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The anti-influenza drug “Avigan Tablet” selected as one of the supplies to be procured with the Japanese government's emergency grant aid for countering the Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea

14.06.2016

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has announced that its anti-influenza drug “Avigan Tablet 200mg”* (Favipiravir, hereinafter “Avigan Tablet”) was selected as one of the supplies to be procured by the Japanese government's emergency grant aid**, extended to counter the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Guinea.

The outbreak of the EVD in West Africa began in 2014. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the end of Ebola virus transmission in the region in December last year, new clusters of EVD cases were confirmed in Guinea in March of this year. In response to this situation, the government of Guinea requested that Japan provide a new supply of Avigan Tablet. The Japanese government decided to use funds from its emergency grant aid to procure from Fujifilm enough Avigan Tablet to treat about 2,000 people, and to provide it to the Guinean government. The Avigan Tablet will be used to treat EVD patients.

The Avigan Tablet is an anti-influenza drug developed by the Fujifilm Group company, Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd. Due to the results of laboratory experiments on mice indicating its anti-viral efficacy on the Ebola virus, Avigan Tablet was administered to multiple Ebola patients as an emergency measure amidst the 2014 outbreak of the EVD. From December 2014 to May 2015, the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM)*** conducted the clinical trial*4 on the Avigan Tablet's efficacy on the EVD at four Ebola Treatment Centers in Guinea. Based on the final analysis results*5, the Guinean government has formally adopted the Avigan Tablet administration as a part of the standard treatment for the EVD.

Fujifilm will continue to work with the governments of France, Guinea and Japan in dealing with the EVD.

  • * Developed by Toyama Chemical and approved in Japan as anti-influenza drug in March 2014
  • ** Grant aid that the Japanese government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) provides to a foreign government as an emergency measure to help those affected by natural disasters / disputes, refugees and evacuees in the applicable country.
  • *** Abbreviation for “Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale”. Inserm is the main body that conducted the clinical trial in Guinea.
  • *4 This clinical trial has been given the name “JIKI,” meaning “hope” in the local language. With financial assistance from EU, Inserm offered medical care to Ebola patients at four Ebola Treatment Centers in Guinea (Guékédou, Nzérékoré, Macenta and Conakry), carried out with cooperation from NGOs (MSF [Doctors Without Borders], ALIMA [Alliance for International Medical Action] and French Red Cross).
  • *5 In March this year, a paper containing the trial's final analysis results was published in the clinical medicine journal “PLOS Medicine.”
  • Highlights of the final analysis results
    1. None of the 126 patients who received Avigan Tablet showed any serious adverse event with suspected link to Avigan, confirming the drug's safety.
    2. The administration of Avigan Tablet reduced the mortality rate by 2/3 in the patients group with a high or moderate viral load at the beginning of treatment (55 patients), demonstrating encouraging signs of efficacy against EVD.
     
     

For inquiries on information in this media release, contact:

Media Contact:
FUJIFILM Corporation
Corporate Communications Division
TEL: +81 3-6271-2000

Other:
Pharmaceutical Products Division
TEL: +81 3-6271-2171

Topics:
  • Medical Systems