Shigetaka Komori, the CEO of Fujifilm Holdings, on Tuesday said about 20 countries have shown interest in Avigan, an Ebola drug developed by Fujifilm’s subsidiary, Toyama Chemical.
The interest from these countries grew rapidly because Avigan has shown signs of efficacy against the Ebola virus, which has killed about 9,500 people in West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Komori told Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in an interview that the company is likely to take large orders for the drug.
“We can provide as much as we are asked for,” Komori told WSJ at the weekend, adding his company had enough capacity to manufacture pills for 300 000 people and more.
Avigan was approved by Japanese regulators in March last year as an anti-influenza medicine, according to the US-based business daily. It later emerged as a prospective treatment for Ebola.
Komori could not disclose particular forecasts for Avigan sales. However, he expected orders to be quite large if countries decided to stockpile the drug, WSJ reported.
According to BBC Africa, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa seems to be waning as the number of people dying from the dreaded virus is slowing down.
The fight against the disease has had a serious impact on healthcare services in Sierra Leone, with child immunisation rates gradually sagging, BBC Africa reported.