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Favipiravir, an antiviral drug, has shown good clinical efficacy against coronavirus (COVID-19), a Chinese official has said.
The virus was in December, first detected in Wuhan, a city in the Asian country.
Speaking during a press briefing on Tuesday, Zhang Xinmin, director of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development, said the clinical trial of the drug had been concluded, stressing that Favipiravir, an influenza drug which was approved for clinical use in Japan in 2014, did not show obvious adverse reactions during the clinical trial.
The official said more than 80 patients participated in the trial in the Third People’s Hospital of Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong province, adding that 35 patients were taking Favipiravir and the 45 were on a control group.
At the end of the trial, he said the results showed that the patients who took the Favipiravir drug tested negative for the virus within a short time. On the other hand, the patients in the control group have shown no improvement.
Another clinical research at the Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan University showed that the “therapeutic effect of the drug is stronger than the control group”.
Xinmin said the drug had been recommended in the diagnosis and treatment of the deadly virus, adding that a pharmaceutical firm in the country had been granted the approval to mass-produce and supply favipiravir.
Last month, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had said it would take at least three months for a vaccine on coronavirus to be ready.