Chinese Military Backed Laboratory Secures Favipiravir Patent: A Domestic Play or Global Aspirations?

Chinese Military Backed Laboratory Secures Favipiravir Patent: A Domestic Play or Global Aspirations?

Is the Chinese military eying the antiviral drug favipiravir (Avigan®) for use against COVID-19? Apparently so, as a PLA-backed laboratory this year secured the intellectual property rights for the use of the drug against SARS-CoV-2.  Originally developed and patented by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co. Ltd. (Fujifilm) in Japan as an antiviral for the national influenza stockpile, the company has been not only conducting clinical trials directly targeting COVID-19 but also entering into licensing deals with pharmaceutical companies around the world to provide a relatively economical treatment for early-onset, mild-to-moderate SARS-CoV-2 in low-to-middle income countries (LMICs).  While the original patent for influenza expired, the company has been actively developing the product in Japan (and again elsewhere) hence the move by the PLA-backed Academy of Military Medical Sciences represents a questionable, egregious action. TrialSite has shared that Fujifilm already had a license with a Chinese pharmaceutical company prior to the pandemic. Favipiravir (Avigan) in one form or another is authorized for treatment of early-onset, mild-to-moderate SARS-CoV-2 in numerous countries as discuss...

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