Japanese Fujifilm shares rise 3% after requesting approval to use Avigan...

Fujifilm Holdings Inc. has applied in Japan for approval to use the anti-influenza drug Avigan as a treatment for COVID-19.

The company said last month that a recent-stage study on Avigan showed reduced recovery times for Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms, and that it would seek to apply for regulatory approval this month at the earliest.

The company’s shares jumped nearly 3 percent on the news.

The study of 156 patients in Japan showed that those treated with Avigan improved after 11.9 days, compared with 14.7 days for patients who took a placebo.

Afihan, also known as favipiravir, is approved in Japan as a flu medicine. It is currently undergoing at least 16 clinical trials around the world, but there are still concerns about the drug after animal studies showed that it causes birth defects in babies.

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