Japan ready to offer unapproved drug for possible Ebola treatment

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Japan said Monday that it is ready to provide a Japanese-developed anti-influenza drug to help treat the deadly Ebola virus.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news agency: "Our country is prepared to provide the yet-to-be approved drug in cooperation with the manufacturer if the WHO requests”.


The anti-influenza drug called Avigan is developed by Japan's Fujifilm Holdings Corp subsidiary Toyama Chemical. The generic name of the drug is favipiravir and the developmental code of it is T-705.

Further, Fujifilm Holdings Corp and US partner MediVector are in talks with the US Food and Drug Administration to submit an application to expand the use of favipiravir as a treatment for Ebola.

By far, there are no proven vaccine or cure available for Ebola virus at present.

However, the use of an experimental drug called Zmapp given to two US patients affected with the virus and a Roman Catholic priest has reportedly shown promising results.

Altogether 1,013 deaths have been recorded in the Ebola hit countries of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the World Health Organisation said Monday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa as an international health emergency.

Ebola virus, which spreads through mucous and other body fluids or secretions such as stool, urine, saliva and semen of infected people, is believed to be very difficult to control.

(With Agencies inputs)

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