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Bangladesh’s two pharmaceuticals are set to produce Japan’s medicinal drug favipiravir, successfully tested in China to treat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Following human trial, earlier in the mid-March, Chinese medical authorities said the drug was tested effectively in treating the new strains of influenza.

BEXIMCO Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Beacon Pharmaceuticals Limited have been readied to create the favipiravir drug, also known as Avigan, following the Japanese formula.

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Japanese Fujifilm’s sister concern Toyama Chemical developed the drug to treat influenza-related disease in 2014.

Japan has not approved the medicine yet as they are still examining the effects of the drug.

We’ve made the favipiravir and sent it to Bangladesh’s drug administration for test. If it is effective, commercial production is possible
Beacon’s managing director

Asked about the matter, Beacon’s managing director Md Ebadul Karim said, “We’ve made the favipiravir and sent it to Bangladesh’s drug administration for test. If it is effective, commercial production is possible.”

“The Japan’s Fuji invented the medicine to treat Ebola virus. China got positive results after using the medicine. We have brought active pharmaceutical ingredients from China,” he added.

As Bangladesh is developing country, it doesn’t require permission for property rights.

Earlier on 18 March, quoting China’s science and technology ministry official Zhang Xinmin, the British daily, The Guardian, said ‘favipiravir had produced encouraging outcomes in clinical trials in Wuhan and Shenzhen involving 340 patients.’

“It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang was also quoted to have said.

Earlier on 4 April, South China Morning Post reports the ‘Japan’s neighbours– China and South Korea – fell divided over use of the anti-flu drug ‘Avigan’. It said, ‘China welcoming the trial use while South Korea has declined saying it had serious side effects.’

South Korean authorities rather choose Remdesivir, a medicine produced by a company of the United States.

BEXIMCO chief director Rabbur Reza said Ivermectin, used to treat parasite infestations, can be most useful.

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He told Prothom Alo that this medicine is affordable and common.

Earlier on Saturday, ABC news said the health authorities a research jointly conducted by the ‘Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and the Doherty Institute found the drug Ivermectin stops coronavirus growing in cell culture’.

Various countries are testing different drugs for treating coronavirus.

We’ve produced all medicines except Remdesivir with a view to prove the medicine to the government once it has been attained approval
BEXIMCO chief director

“We’ve produced all medicines except Remdesivir with a view to prove the medicine to the government once it has been attained approval,” he added.

“We’re exporting raw materials of Ivermectin. It’ll also be produced.”

The companies also said these medicines have been produced as per the permission from the drug administration.

Apart from the Beacon and BEXIMCO, two more pharmaceuticals have also got permission to produce the drugs.

Ziska Pharmaceuticals Ltd is one of them. Its managing director Aminul Islam Khan said, “If necessary, we’ll produce the medicines.”