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Fujifilm says tests results on Avigan as Ebola drug by end-2014

REUTERS                                                 Nov. 11, 2014
By Ayai Tomisawa and Reiji Murai

TOKYO--Fujifilm Holdings Corp said it expects its influenza drug Avigan to be approved by international government bodies to treat Ebola after it receives clinical test results as early as the end of the year.

Tablets of Avigan (generic name : Favipiravir), a drug approved as an anti-influenza drug in Japan and developed by drug maker Toyama Chemical Co, a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings Co. are displayed during a photo opportunity at Fujifilm's headquarters in Tokyo October 22, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Issei Kato

Fujifilm has been growing its pharmaceutical division through a series of mergers and acquisitions as its photography business wanes. In 2008, it bought Toyama Chemical Co, whose drug Avigan has been drafted to the global fight against Ebola.

Avigan, approved in Japan earlier this year to counter new forms of influenza, has been used in France, Germany, Spain and Norway to treat Ebola patients. Fujifilm had said its Avigan stockpile would be sufficient to treat 20,000 patients, and it has enough ingredients to make tablets to treat 300,000 people.

"So far, four Ebola patients have recovered after being treated with the drug," Fujifilm Chairman and Chief executive Shigetaka Komori told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday. France and Guinea plan to conduct clinical trials of Avigan 200 mg tablets in Guinea to treat Ebola this month.

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FIERCE MEDICAL DEVICES                                                                                 Nov. 11, 2014

By Joseph Keenan

Aethlon Medical ($AEMD) said it will, by the end of the year, begin U.S. clinical trials of its Hemopurifier device following news a German patient suffering from Ebola was declared free of the deadly virus despite suffering multiple organ failure.

The device is a blood-filtering cartridge containing "affinity" agents that attract and capture specific viruses and immunosuppressive proteins, the company said in a press release. The Hemopurifier filter works by hindering a virus's ability to replicate while allowing the immune system to rebound.

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