Camera maker Fujifilm helps fight deadly Ebola virus
October 3, 2014
The medicine, called Avigan, has been given to a nurse infected with the disease, says Fujifilm president, Shigehiro Nakajima.
Avigan is manufactured by Toyama Chemical Co, a Japanese company that Fuji acquired in 2008.
The anti-influenza drug is being used at an unnamed French hospital as an ‘emergency measure’, following talks with the Japanese government.
In a statement on its website, Fujifilm says: ‘The French nurse was diagnosed [with] Ebola virus disease while engaging in healthcare work in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, and was repatriated to France for treatment.’
The nurse, who has not been named, has been taking Avigan since 25 September, along with another experimental drug.
Approved for use in Japan in March, the drug is designed to inhibit viral gene replication within infected cells, to prevent propagation.
The Fuji statement adds: ‘Fujifilm and Toyama Chemical will continue to work together with relevant pharmaceutical authorities, international organisations and infectious disease specialists to explore the potential of leveraging Avigan for patients with the Ebola virus disease.’
The Ebola virus has killed more than 3,000 people in West Africa, according to the World Health Organisation.
Avigan is administered as a 200mg tablet.
Fuji says that other drugs in the pipeline include a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.