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Coronavirus

Avigan maker Fujifilm faces China military risk to patent

Approval doubts threaten health care ambitions of Japanese company

The Japanese health ministry is currently weighing approval of Avigan as a COVID-19 treatment. (Source photos by Tomoki Mera and Takaki Kashiwabara) 

TOKYO -- Fujifilm Holdings has warned the Japanese government that a research arm of the Chinese military may claim intellectual property rights over the anti-flu drug Avigan as a COVID-19 treatment.

The move signals the Japanese company's concern over growing Chinese clout in the medical supply chain as the world continues to grapple with the pandemic. Losing the patent could also be another blow for Fujifilm's global ambitions for the drug, as the company tries to transform itself into a powerful health care player.

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