Based on the preliminary clinical data made available in April 2020, production of the broad-spectrum Japanese antiviral drug favipiravir in Hungary has begun under the leadership of the ELKH Research Center for Natural Sciences (TTK) and the University of Pécs (PTE).

According to recently published data from a scientific study in Japan carried out over the past six months, Avigan tablets containing the active substance favipiravir have been successfully used to treat incipient pneumonia in patients with moderate coronavirus. The tablets successfully prevented the virus from multiplying and relieved clinical symptoms such as fever or shortness of breath within 12 days.

“Together with the previously approved remdesivir, the efficacy of two antiviral drugs against COVID-19 infection has now been demonstrated,” confirmed the academic György Miklós Keserű (TTK), head of the favipiravir production consortium. He also pointed out that favipiravir is an oral medicine that can help reduce the burden on the healthcare system.

“Avigan has successfully prevented the deterioration of the condition of patients and many of them have avoided intensive treatment,” said the academic Gábor L. Kovács (PTE), head of the HECRIN Consortium, which conducts clinical trials of favipiravir in Hungary.

He also added that the consortium has obtained the necessary licenses for the clinical trial of Avigan in Hungary. The drug can therefore be used in trials at the clinics of medical universities and the Korányi National Institute of Pulmonology, allowing Hungarian patients to receive an antiviral treatment with proven effectiveness.