On Feb. 16th, 2020, China approved Favipiravir as a potential treatment medicine against Coronavirus COVID-19 and put it into production. This medicine, Favipiravir, was first developed and launched into the market in 2014 by Dr. Kimiyasu Shiraki, who was the Director at the School of Medicine of Toyama University, together with Fuji Film (former Toyama Chemical Company).
During the interview, Science and Technology Daily correspondent learned that this medicine had been used in clinical research at the Third People’s Hospital in Shenzhen by Scientific Research Organization. Among the 26 clinical cases, 25 cases were in average condition and one in severe/critical condition. Presently, no noticeable side-effects have been found after the use of Favipiravir. Patients have been highly compliant with doctors’ instructions. This drug is effective in reducing fever within two days, and 72% of patients fevers reduced. Also, within three days, 38% of patients showed lung improvement, and within six days, 70% showed lung improvement.
According to the Japanese newspaper, “Yomiuri Shimbun,” the Japanese government decided to use Favipiravir to treat patients who are affected by COVID-19. Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare minister Kato Katsunobu confirmed this decision during a television interview. He also confirmed that there will be at least two million units of medicine in stock.
“Diamond Princess Cruises” is registered as an English cruise ship managed by a company in the U.S. During this last cruise in Japan, there were close to 700 passengers on board diagnosed withCOVID-19. Unfortunately, the Japanese government had to carry the burden of taking care of these patients. Some Japanese people said that the reason that the Japanese government treated this incident as normal daily affairs, was that they have secretly obtained a specific medicine to treat this virus. In another word, the Japanese government has been well prepared to deal with this virus. Furthermore, some say that right before the 2,000 plus passengers left the cruise ship, Favipiravir had been given to each one of them.
Trace back to the 1990s
Dr. Shao, Hui has been a research partner as well as a friend with Dr. Shiraki at Osaka University for many years. Starting from 1990, these two devoted their research in developing drugs to treat various deadly viruses. Among these drugs, Shawkea T-1 became a well-known medicine that proves to have antiviral effect.
Dr. Shiraki’s Shawkea T-1 research paper
After Dr. Shiraki learned that his research development could be used in a clinical application in China, he met up with his good friend and brought more advanced information regarding his research.
More updates will be followed. Stay tuned for more instructions by Dr. Shiraki for pregnancy-preparing moms in our next update.