Boston Hospitals to Run a Trial on Anti-Viral Japanese Drug for COVID-19

To hear the White House and Donald Trump tell it, Hydroxychloroquine is the key to beating back the coronavirus. Some Doctors, though, fear that the drug might offer potentially serious side effects. It was also recently revealed that Trump has a small financial stake in the company that produces the medication.

Steve Buissine via Pixabay

There are a number of drugs outside of Hydroxychlorquine that might also prove effective in the treatment of COVID-19. This week, three different Boston area hospitals will run a trial on Avigan, a Japanese drug used to treat the flu.

50 COVID-19 sufferers will take the drug at 3 participating hospitals. The medical centers involved are Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Fujifilm, which manufactures the drug, said in a statement, “Due to this mechanism of action, it is expected that Avigan may potentially have an antiviral effect on the new coronavirus, because like influenza viruses, coronaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses that also depend on viral RNA polymerase.”

The drug-maker continued, “The drug is to be supplied only at the discretion of Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. It is therefore only manufactured and distributed upon request by the Japanese Government. As such Avigan has never been generally distributed in the market and is not available at hospitals and pharmacies in Japan.”



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