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Pharmaceuticals

Avigan trials will continue in Japan, with drug efficacy unclear

University seeks evidence as Abe government stands by goal of May approval

Data showing the effectiveness of Avigan (generic name: Favipiravir) would need to come forward within the next several days to meet the May approval target.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- A Japanese team testing the flu drug Avigan as a treatment for the new coronavirus said Wednesday more time was needed to determine its effectiveness, while the government stood by a goal of approving the medication's use this month.

The Fujita Health University School of Medicine said it will continue clinical trials based on the recommendation of an independent panel. The panel found "no safety or other problems" associated with the trials, according to Yohei Doi, the microbiologist heading the effort.

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