Experimental coronavirus drug arrives in Israel from Japan

Israeli embassy in Japan worked to make Israel among first countries to receive drug to be tested at Hadassah and Ichilov hospitals.

Mordechai Sones ,

Avigan
Avigan
Reuters

In recent days, Israel received the first delivery of the drug called Avigan (generic name: Favipiravir), which is being tested as an effective response to treat coronavirus disease in its early stages, reduce the duration of the disease, and prevent deterioration in difficult situations.

The shipment arrived in Israel following cooperation between the Israeli Embassy in Japan, the Foreign Ministry, the Health Ministry, and the procurement officers at Hadassah and Ichilov medical centers, which will also lead the Israeli trial of the drug.

Israeli Ambassador to Japan Yaffa Ben Ari has been working together with Hadassah Hospital infectious disease prevention expert Prof. Ran Nir-Paz, and Ichilov Hospital Information Systems and Operations Vice President Dr. Esti Sayag, with Japanese government officials and Fujifilm to obtain the supply of the drug for use in Israel.

Thanks to the political activity and contacts created with the leaders of Fujifilm, Israel has become one of the first countries in the world to receive the drug that dozens of countries are interested in.

Last week, the first shipment arrived in Israel and was approved by the Health Ministry, which will allow the beginning of a multicenter trial in Israel that will include about 80 patients at Hadassah, Ichilov, Soroka, and Poriya medical centers and integration with researchers from the Hebrew University.

The Helsinki Human Clinical Trial Permits Committee convened in Hadassah today to review several promising trial proposals for treating coronavirus patients and in principle approved initiating drug therapy.

Avigan (generic name: Favipiravir)
Reuters

According to the plan, after full approval by the local committees and Health Ministry, treatment will begin in coming weeks/days.

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said, "I congratulate the Israeli embassy in Tokyo, in cooperation with the Health Ministry, Prof. Nir-Paz, and Dr. Sayag, and the assistance of the procurement brigade, for their success in bringing this groundbreaking research to Israel. The Foreign Office is at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus and, together with other government officials, is leading the efforts of the State of Israel to find necessary medical equipment and medical solutions to the virus."

Ambassador Yaffa Ben Ari added, "I thank the Japanese government and especially the Fujifilm Corporation for recognizing the importance of collaborating with Israeli medical research, and Japan's appreciation of the high level of Prof. Ran Nir-Paz's research proposal. We are continuing to address additional drug delivery to help Israel stop the coronavirus disease deterioration among many more patients."

Prof. Ran Nir Paz of Hadassah noted that "the drug is also within the guidelines for treatment as one of the first-line drugs in Japan now. The purpose of Israeli research is to test whether the drug is indeed effective in this delineation."

Dr. Esti Sayag of Ichilov concluded that "within the wide range of drugs we try to treat the coronavirus patients, some of them empirically prominent, the drug Avigan, which is promising, in terms of the potential for treatment in the first stages of the disease and preventing deterioration. In doing so, it may contribute to flattening the curve and improving the ability to cope with the extent of morbidity we experience in the country."

Avigan (generic name: Favipiravir)
Reuters



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