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Pharmaceuticals

Avigan still awaits Japanese approval as coronavirus cure

Optimism shrinks as clinical trials fail to produce definitive results

Proof of Avigan's effectiveness in curing COVID-19 patients remains out of reach. (generic name : Favipiravir).   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The approval of Avigan, a candidate drug for treating coronavirus infections, has been postponed by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare until June or later.

The delay has dashed the hopes of many, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who previously said that he "will aim for approval by the end of May." It comes as the anti-flu drug's effectiveness as a coronavirus treatment has yet to be proven.

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