Fujifilm Holdings Corp will restart a clinical trial in Japan of its antiviral drug Avigan for the treatment of COVID-19, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Sunday.
Domestic approval of the drug was delayed after a health ministry panel said in December that trial data was inconclusive. The new study will involve about 270 patients and Fujifilm will aim to seek approval again in October, Nikkei said.
Japan’s government has called on Fujifilm to triple national stockpiles of the drug, which has been approved for COVID-19 treatment in Russia, India and Indonesia.
Image: By Yikrazuul – Own work; PMID 19428599, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32973361
Japan: “Domestic diffusion of strains carrying the Spike protein E484K mutation (Pangolin B.1.1.316)
E484K COVID-19 genome surveillance * 3. mutation to the same Spike protein as the mutant strains (N501Y.V2 and N501Y.V3) reported in South Africa and Brazil from the beginning of December 2020 onwards in the national survey of B.1.1.316 strain (2 cases of airport quarantine, 91 cases throughout Kanto area) was detected (as of 02/02/2021).
The B.1.1.316 strain does not have the N501Y mutation, which is a mutation that may increase infectivity and transmission, and it is presumed that the phenotype is different from that of the mutant strain having the N501Y mutation. According to genome network diagram the evaluation of the , this B.1.1.316 is not at least the genealogy of the current two mainstream strains in Japan, but a 13-base mutation (approximately 7) from the European strain (B.1.1.114) from March to April 2020. There was a time difference of months).
The sample that fills the blank link of this 13-base mutation in the domestic sample has not been specified, and it was judged that the genealogy did not acquire the mutation in Japan. In addition, a search for all GISAID registered genomic information has not identified the country of origin indicating the origin of this influx B.1.1.316 strain (that is, the region such as the United Kingdom cannot be determined). On the other hand, no strains that have acquired the E484K mutation from two mainstream strains in Japan (B.1.1.284 and B.1.1.214) have been detected so far.
Japan has confirmed that a new variant of Sars-COV-2 with the E484K mutation on the spike protein has been found in 91 patients.
An infection cluster emerged at a Tokyo immigration facility, presenting new challenges as the country tries to overcome a third wave of the pandemic.
The new mutant strain, which is partly similar to different variants reported in the U.K. and South Africa, was detected in four infected people who arrived from Brazil, the ministry said.
The National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) said there was no evidence at present that the new variant was highly infectious, but it was investigating whether it could cause severe symptoms and whether or not it is resistant to vaccines.
Of the four people, a man in his 40s showed no symptoms upon arrival, but later developed breathing difficulties and was hospitalized, the ministry said. A woman in her 30 has symptoms such as headache. A male in the 10-19 age group has a fever, while a woman in the same age group is free of symptoms.
There have now been more than 60,000,000 confirmed coronavirus infections globally and the infection rate is still increasing.
Coronaviruses closely related to the pandemic coronavirus discovered in Japan and Cambodia
The viruses, both found in bats stored in laboratory freezers, are the first SARS-CoV-2 relatives to be found outside China.
A coronavirus related to SARS-CoV-2 has been found in Shamel’s horseshoe bats captured in Cambodia in 2010. Meanwhile, a team in Japan has reported the discovery of another closely related coronavirus — also found in frozen bat droppings.
Tokyo reported 317 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, topping the 300 threshold for the first time since Aug. 20, data from the Metropolitan Government showed.