Favipiravir Follow-Up: DoD Led the Way, but U.S. is Left Out?

Favipiravir Follow-Up DoD Led the Way, but U.S. Left Out

As we recently reported, here and here, Favipiravir is an up-and-coming COVID-19 treatment around the world. Given over $200 million has been spent by the U.S. Department of Defense on this drug, it is oddly lacking in approval and current research by the U.S. The Austin Journal of Public Health Epidemiology looked into the drug in the June article “Favipiravir and USA.” They note that it “was invented as the most useful drug for bioengineered pandemics.” And while first developed in Japan, it has garnered lots of interest from the Department of Defense. U.S. trials started in 2014 and completed in 2015, but there has been no FDA approval or market authorization. AJPHE’s author sought the answer and, “wrote to FDA twice, only to know that it is not possible to know anything because of federal confidentiality (personal communication).”

In a 2015 Phase 3 Favipiravir clinical trial report, the sponsor is listed as MDVI, LLC; and MediVector, Inc is noted as a collaborator. MediVector is well-known as the Department of Defense’s research partner for this drug, but MDVI is a bit more mysterious: “This company has no/unclaimed website.” DoD initially gave MediVector $139 million for r...

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