First antiviral drug approved to fight coronavirus

Medical staff in protective suits treat a patient with pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, on Jan 27, 2020.
PHOTO: Reuters

Favilavir, formerly known as Fapilavir, an antiviral that has shown efficacy in treating the novel coronavirus, was approved for marketing, the Taizhou government in Zhejiang province announced Sunday.

It is the first anti-novel coronavirus drug that has been approved for marketing by the National Medical Products Administration since the outbreak.

Developed by Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Company, the drug is expected to play an important role in preventing and treating the epidemic, the government said on its official WeChat account.

Favilavir is one of three drugs that have shown significant efficacy in treating the novel coronavirus in clinical trials, the Ministry of Science and Technology said on Saturday.

The antiviral was put into production on Sunday.

Zhejiang province has reported 1,167 cases so far.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.