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Coronavirus

Japan asks US for stable remdesivir supply as Tokyo rushes approval

Treatment could be available as early as mid-May

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump: The Japanese government is trying to ensure supplies of the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat the coronavirus.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan aims to approve remdesivir as a treatment for the coronavirus in as little as a week, the health minister said Saturday, as Tokyo asked the U.S. to ensure it receives adequate supplies of the drug.

The moves follow emergency U.S. approval of remdesivir, developed by Gilead Sciences, on Friday. Japan's expedited authorization procedures allow reporting of domestic clinical trials to be postponed to a later date, meaning the antiviral drug could be approved by mid-May.

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