Tokyo, Apr 28: The Japanese government will shortly approve the use of the antiviral drug Remdesivir for treating COVID-19 following the conclusion of clinical trials, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday.
“The pharmaceutical approval (of remdesivir) will be possible shortly,” Abe said during a parliamentary session, as quoted by the Kyodo News agency. Remdesivir is developed by the US biotech firm Gilead Sciences and has previously tested in humans to treat Ebola. “We are currently conducting clinical tests and are focused on confirming the drug's efficacy and safety,” a spokesperson for the Japanese branch of Gilead Sciences said, as quoted by the agency.
Clinical trials of the anti-viral drug in Japan got underway on April 14 and are due to conclude in May. At that time, the NHK broadcaster stated that roughly 90 patients were expected to take part in the trial. On April 11, data from a clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that 68 percent of patients critically ill with COVID-19 responded well to Remdesivir. However, a draft report published accidentally by the World Health Organization on Thursday, before being removed, indicated that Remdesivir's effectiveness was proved inconclusive by a trial in China. (UNI)