Shareholders at Fujifilm have had a little break from the global economic woes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a drug made by a subsidiary arm of their company has been found to be effective in helping patients recover from the virus. Patients, no doubt, have even more to celebrate.
It's well known that Fujifilm is heavily invested in developing digital imaging solutions for the healthcare sector. However, reports have now come out from China that a drug developed by one of Fujifilm's subsidiaries, Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd, has shown promising clinical efficacy against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The drug, known as Favipiravir or T-705 Avigan, has an active ingredient that appears to decrease recovery time in patients by more than half, from an average of 11 days to 4 days.
News of the recent clinical trials in Wuhan and Schenzhen came from Zhang Xinmin, director of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development under the Ministry of Science and Technology, at a press conference on March 17th.
The share price boost might be short-lived, however, as a license for a key ingredient in the drug expired last year.