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Coronavirus

Japan approval for remdesivir expected 'soon,' Abe says

Antiviral drug will receive fast-track status if certified by another nation

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks in the Diet parliamentary building in Tokyo on April 27. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Japan is on the verge of initiating a fast-track approval process for Gilead Sciences' antiviral drug remdesivir to treat patients infected by the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday.

Japan's health ministry will place remdesivir on a shortened authorization track once another nation certifies the drug to treat COVID-19. Results from international clinical trials are expected shortly.

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