Bloomberg reported that final results of a trial testing Fujifilm's antiviral Avigan to treat COVID-19 are expected around July, according to Yohei Doi, a doctor who is leading the trial.
The lead researcher said it is too early to make a call on whether the drug works or not, and patients are still being enrolled.
Doi's comments came amid conflicting reports over the drug's efficacy, with Japanese media saying the off-patent drug was not effective based on an interim analysis of the trial, while Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he expects the treatment to be approved this month.
"It doesn't make a lot of sense," Doi said of Abe’s comments, considering how little time is left in May, adding "I could just take it as that this is what he's hoping for."
Meanwhile, shares in Fujifilm dipped as much as 4.9% in Tokyo trading Wednesday on the reports, which Doi said were misleading as they are based on an interim analysis.
Doi's trial, sponsored by Japan's health department, is not connected to two separate randomized trials Fujifilm is running, one in Japan and one in Boston. A Fujifilm spokesman said the Japan trial is expected to be completed in June, while the US study is targeted for completion in December.
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