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Japan health ministry delays decision on Avigan for coronavirus

Authorities seek additional data before greenlighting Fujifilm flu drug

Avigan, also known by its generic name favipiravir, was shown to accelerate recovery in COVID-19 patients with non-severe pneumonia in a clinical trial by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The Japanese health ministry's expert board on Monday postponed a decision on whether to approve Fujifilm Holdings' Avigan for coronavirus treatment, opting to examine more evidence to determine its efficacy.

"This is not a rejection of Avigan's effectiveness," a ministry representative said. The board will continue with its deliberations once additional clinical trial results come out, with a decision now expected no earlier than January.

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