The number of positive cases of coronavirus are on a rising spree all over the world. The confirmed cases of COVID-19 on a global scale have crossed 1.7 million with the death toll crossing 1,08,000. The most affected country because of coronavirus is the United States of America. With around 5,33,378 positive cases in USA, its death toll has reached more than 20,600 leaving Italy’s death toll behind. According to the reports, USA recorded over 2,000 deaths because of COVID-19. The country will now be testing Avigan, the Japanese anti-viral drug for the treatment of the deadly virus.
The anti-flu drug is already being tested in Japan and China. The first U.S clinical trials will be done in Massachusetts as announced by the drug’s manufacturer, Fujifilm Corporation. Avigan which also goes by the name favipiravir, was approved in Japan for manufacturing and sales in 2014. It is said to fight influenza by interfering with the virus replication process. A statement made by Fujifilm read, “Avigan selectively inhibits RNA (ribonucleic acid) polymerase necessary for influenza virus replication.”
The company further explained that because of this mechanism of action, Avigan may potentially have an antiviral effect on coronavirus. Like every other influenza virus, COVID-19 is a single-stranded RNA virus that depends on viral RNA polymerase.
At this point, the world needs an antidote to stop this pandemic which is taking everyone’s lives. Avigan will be tested on 50 coronavirus affected patients at 3 different hospitals in Massachusetts. The Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Massachusetts Medical School will soon try the anti-flu drug to combat against coronavirus.