A drug used in Japan to treat influenza seems to be effective at treating the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to news reports.
The antiviral drug, called Favipiravir or Avigan, showed positive outcomes in clinical trials involving 340 individuals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, said Zhang Xinmin, of China's science and technology ministry, The Guardian reported.
"It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment," Zhang said Tuesday (March 17), The Guardian reported.
Developed by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, the antiviral drug is being manufactured by Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical for treating influenza viruses. Last month, the drug reportedly received approval as an experimental treatment for COVID-19 infections, Pharmaceutical Technology reported.