Fujifilm's company logo is seen at its exhibition hall nearby the headquarters of Fujifilm Holdings Corp in Tokyo, Japan June 12, 2017. - USA photocopier and printer maker Xerox on May 13 announced it was terminating a merger with Fujifilm and appointing a new chief executive after entering into a settlement with activist shareholders who had contested the takeover. Fujifilm Toyama Chemical developed the drug in 2014, and it has been provided to patients in Japan as treatment for the novel coronavirus since February.
A Japanese-made flu medicine (also known as Avigan), favipiravir has been shown to be effective in both reducing the duration of the COVID-19 virus in patients and improving lung conditions in those who received treatment with the medicine., according to results of clinical trials conducted with affected patients in Wuhan and Shenzhen by Chinese medical authorities.
Favipiravir has been effective, with no obvious side-effects, in helping coronavirus patients recover, Zhang Xinmin, an official at China's Science and Technology Ministry, told reporters at a news conference yesterday.
Well recognized for its cameras, Fujifilm built Avigan and has licensed the patent for favipiravir to Chinese firm Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical.
In Japan, Fujifilm manufactures Avigan only on receiving orders from the government and has no sales target for the drug, she said.
The shares of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation (OTC: FUJIY) hit their daily permissible high limit on Wednesday's open in Tokyo. The tests showed a reduction in the period during which patients tested positive for the new coronavirus from 11 days down to just four, and showed improvements in the lung condition of around 91 percent of patients treated with favipiravir, compared to just 62 percent for those without among the trial participants.
Favipiravir was also an active ingredient used to fight the Ebola virus during the 2016 outbreak.