Japan authorizes its first domestic anticovid drug

Japan authorizes its first domestic anticovid drug

The Japanese Ministry of Health has authorized the use of the first domestically produced drug to treat covid-19 orally, according to local media today.

The drug, tablets marketed as Xocova and produced by the Shionogi pharmaceutical company, is effective in reducing the presence of the virus that causes covid-19 in the body, according to clinical tests carried out in Japan and other Asian countries.

Once authorized for use, Japan plans to make the drug available to patients from early December, Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference the day before.

The green light from national authorities for the new drug comes amid a rebound in coronavirus infections in Japan, with more than 124,000 new infections reported this Monday, some 18,000 more than a week earlier.

The drug is intended for patients over 12 years of age with moderate symptoms of the disease, and is the first drug to be approved under the new emergency review and authorization scheme that came into force last May, in the context of the pandemic.

Japan had previously authorized two other foreign-produced anticovid drugs, distributed by US pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Merck and also aimed at patients with moderate symptoms.

Melissa Galbraith
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