Fujifilm speeds production of potential COVID-19 therapy Avigan

After researchers targeted its influenza antiviral Avigan as a possible COVID-19 therapy, Japanese drugmaker Fujifilm said it was ready to scale up production to meet skyrocketing national demand. Now, with its foot on the gas pedal, Fujifilm hopes to make hundreds of thousands of regimens available in the coming months.

Fujifilm is expanding manufacturing capacity at its Toyama facility to speed production of flu antiviral drug Avigan, which has been targeted as a possible therapy for COVID-19, the drugmaker said Wednesday. 

The company has also "established strategic partnerships with domestic and overseas companies" to source raw materials for Avigan and added capacity at its Wako Pure Chemical Co. facility to produce the drug's active pharmaceutical ingredients, Fujifilm said in a release.

With its supercharged production in place, Fujifilm is hoping to make 100,000 treatment courses of Avigan available by July––3.5 times its supply in March––and a total of 300,000 courses ready by September. The Japanese government will set aside 2 million treatment courses for its national stockpile, Fujifilm said, and the drugmaker is in discussions with foreign governments to provide additional supply. 

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