Amid the Ebola outbreak continues to play havoc in West Africa and nearby regions, there is a sigh of relief from Japan as the country is ready to provide a self-developed anti-influenza drug for potentially treating the patients with the rapidly expanding infection.
The deadly Ebola virus has claimed lives of more than 1,400 people in West Africa.
Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary, told mediapersons that the country has developed an anti-influenza tablet, favipiravir, that is a potential treatment for the deadly virus.
According to Suga, the drug is ready and can be released any time at the request of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Observing the sensitivity and magnitude of the Ebola outbreak, WHO had earlier this month made the use of untested drugs ethical.
Suga said that Japan is currently waiting for final decision of WHO on the use of untested drugs.
Suga, however, added that the country is ready, even before the WHO decision, to respond to individual requests in case of an emergency.
Favipiravir has been developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings Corp. ‘Toyama Chemical Co.’ to treat re-emerging influenza viruses. The drug was approved by the Japanese health ministry in March this year.
Meanwhile, Fujifilm is in talks with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on conducting the clinical tests of the Ebola drug, said Takao Aoki, company’s spokesman.
The scientists from across the world are working rigorously to develop an efficient drug for Ebola treatment. But, unfortunately, they are still in early stages and no proven drug or vaccine has come out to treat the highly fatal disease effectively.