We must protect people’s life and health and at the same time we need to make sure that the Hungarian economy is working, therefore every research concerning the fight against coronavirus is of key importance. As Tamás Schanda, Deputy Minister of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (ITM) and Parliamentary and Strategic State Secretary has announced on 30 September, the clinical trials run in Japan have proven the effectiveness of favipiravir in the treatment of coronavirus’ symptoms is promising news for the domestic development of the medicine as well.
The ministry has already started more than 20 development programmes for improving the effectiveness of protection against the coronavirus, when it first emerged in 2020. The domestic development of the broad-spectrum Japanese drug based on available pre-existing clinical data began in April 2020 lead by the Scientific Research Centre (Faculty of Sciences, TTK) and the University of Pécs (UP). The scientific, clinical research conducted in Japan in the past 6 months proved that Avigan pills containing favipiravir as its active agent halted the reproduction of coronavirus and within 12 days helped treat symptoms such as fever or respiratory problems in patients with early stage pneumonia and mid-stage coronavirus.
The picture is only for illustration.
With this, and the previously authorized remdesivir, we have two antiviral medications proven to be effective against the COVID-19 infection – confirmed György Miklós Keserű (TTK), member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, leader of the consortium developing favipiravir. He reminded us that favipiravir can be taken orally, thus lightening the load on the medical infrastructure.
Avigan successfully stopped the state of multiple patients from getting worse, preventing them from entering intensive care – emphasized academic Gábor L. Kovács (PTE), leader of the HECRIN consortium conducting the domestic clinical testing of favipiravir.
Professor Gábor L. Kovács, University of Pécs, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
The consortium acquired the licenses needed for the domestic clinical testing of Avigan, this way the utilization of the medicine, provided by the Ministry of Foreign Economics and Foreign Affairs and the Japanese Government, can begin at the clinics of medical schools and the National Korányi Pulmonology Institute. This way, Hungarian patients can undergo confirmed effective antiviral treatment – announced ITM.