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Pharmaceuticals

Fujifilm's Avigan hopes hit after Japan puts COVID drug on hold

Health ministry panel says efficacy difficult to judge from available data

Japan's health ministry has put off approval of Fujifilm's anti-influenza drug Avigan for use in treating COVID-19. The company's shares fell sharply on the news on Dec. 22. (Photo byTakaki Kashiwabara)

TOKYO -- Japan's Fujifilm Holdings said it was "extremely disappointed," after government officials deferred approval of its Avigan treatment for COVID-19, setting back the company's global ambitions for the drug.

Fujifilm said it followed the required protocols in a clinical test that is facing questions over its credibility, after Japan's health ministry said it was difficult to clearly determine Avigan's efficacy from the available data.

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