TOKYO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp said on Monday it was expanding the production of its Avigan anti-influenza drug to reach an additional number of Ebola patients.
France and Guinea plan to conduct clinical trials of Avigan 200 mg tablets, made by Fujifilm group company Toyama Chemical Co, in Guinea to treat Ebola in mid-November, Fujifilm said in a statement.
“Some research papers report that Avigan also shows efficacy against the Ebola virus in animal testing with mice, and Avigan has already been administered as an emergency treatment to several (Ebola) patients evacuated from West Africa to Europe,” the company said.
If the trial shows the drug to be safe and effective, “Fujifilm is expected to receive requests to provide the products for large-scale clinical use,” it said.
Fujifilm’s share price surged 30 percent to a high of 3,800 in two months to a six-year high of 3,800 yen on Oct. 7. It closed in Tokyo on Monday at 3,392 yen, before the latest announcement. (Writing by William Mallard, editing by David Evans)