chinese medical officials say a japanese flu drug currently undergoing clinical trials is ‘clearly effective’ in treating COVID-19, reports forbes. developed by fujifilm toyama chemical, the drug — known as ‘favipiravir’ — has been tested on around 200 patients in wuhan and shenzen. these patients tested negative after a median of just four days, compared to 11 days in the control group.


‘it is very safe and clearly effective,’ said zhang xinmin, director of the science ministry’s china national center for biotechnology development — as reported by nikkei asian review. the same publication says that fujifilm toyama developed the drug in 2014 and it has been administered to patients in japan since february.


although the results appear promising for those showing minor symptoms, the guardian reports that ‘favipiravir’ does not seem to be as effective in more severe cases. fujifilm toyama’s stock price surged after the endorsement. however a chinese company — zhejiang hisun pharmaceutical — is preparing to put out a rival generic version of the drug.


read more about favipiravir in the report by forbes.