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Research into Fujifilm’s Avigen drug as a potential treatment for COVID-19 will continue into June.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had said he hoped the drug would be approved in May if its efficacy and safety could be confirmed.

“The company will continue research into next month or so, and if an application for approval is received from the company, it will be promptly reviewed,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a regular briefing when asked about Avigan.

Suga said trials of a coronavirus vaccine could begin as early as July, raising expectations about a candidate developed by Osaka University and biopharmaceutical firm AnGes Inc.

Avigan is the subject of at least 16 trials worldwide, though there is concern the drug has been shown to cause birth defects in animal studies.

Al Jazeera News

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