An influenza medicine developed by a Fujifilm Holdings group company is effective against the new corona virus covid-19, the Chinese government said on Tuesday 17 March, 2020.
Clinical tests were conducted on 200 patients at medical clinics in Chinese cities Wuhan and Shenzhen. Results indicated that patients who got the medicine tested negative in comparatively short time span, while pneumonia side effects were particularly diminished.
“It is very safe and clearly effective,” said Zhang Xinmin, director of the science ministry’s China National Center for Biotechnology Development, in a news conference.
On the back of this news, the shares of Fujifilm goes up to 15% in Tokyo in the afternoon session. Morning trade in the stock was suspended after a excess of buy orders following Beijing’s announcement.
Patients taking the drug tested negative after a median of four days, compared to 11 days in the control group, according to Zhang. There were no clear side effects found, he said.
Another clinical test in Wuhan shows that the patients treated with favipiravir recovered from fever in 2.5 days on average, in comparison of 4.2 days for other patients. Coughing symptoms also improved within 4.6 days about 1.4 days earlier than those who did not take the drug.