COVID Vaccine: Fujifilm says COVID-19 drug research may drag on into July
According to reports, the Japanese researchers have only been able to get around 70% of the patients needed for the trials, and because it takes 28 days to get results, the process will continue until at least July.
Researchers across the world are racing against time to find the vaccine or drug for the COVID-19 treatment. However, on Sunday, Fujifilms accepted a setback in the research. The Fujifilm Holdings Corp's research on Avigan as a potential treatment for COVID-19 may drag on until July, the Japanese firm said.
“There is a possibility that clinical trials will continue in July," a Fujifilm spokesman said, responding to a report that any approval will be delayed until July or later, due to a lack of patients for trials.
Earlier, the Shinzo Abe government had given up on getting approval for the drug by the end of May, As per the deferred timeline, the aim was to complete clinical trials this month.
But researchers have only been able to get around 70% of the patients needed for the trials, and because it takes 28 days to get results, the process will continue until at least July, the Nikkei business daily said, citing an unnamed source.
The spokesman said Fujifilm does not make public details of the progress of clinical trials but it has expanded the number of medical institutions that are cooperating in the trials. "We aim to complete clinical trials as soon as possible," the firm’s representative said.
Drugmakers around the world are scrambling to develop a vaccine for the new coronavirus, which has infected nearly 7 million people globally and have claimed nearly 4, 00,000 lives.
Many countries are focusing on drugs like Gilead Sciences Inc's antiviral remdesivir and some are using the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, touted by U.S. President Donald Trump. Japanese Prime Minister Abe's government has championed Japanese candidate Avigan, also known as Favipiravir.
Countries that have succeeded in curbing infections have sometimes paradoxically found it difficult to sustain clinical trials because of dwindling sample sizes for patients.
Meanwhile, in the past 24 hours, in India 9,971 new COVID cases were recorded. With this spike, the country's tally has reached 2, 46,628, positive cases. As per the Union Health Ministry data, so far the deadly virus has claimed 6,929 lives in India.