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Fujifilm Shares Skyrocket As China Says Its Flu Medicine Works For Coronavirus

Neer Varshney

The shares of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation (OTC: FUJIY) hit their daily permissible high limit on Wednesday's open in Tokyo.

What Happened

The massive jump in an otherwise bearish market came as China suggested that an influenza medicine developed by subsidiary FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical Co. Ltd. is also effective against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

"It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment," the director of the Chinese science ministry's China National Center for Biotechnology Development, Zhang Xinmin said, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

Japan has been administering the medicine to coronavirus patients since February, The Nikkei noted. Toyama Chemical developed the drug, sold under the brand name Avigan, in 2014 as a medicine to combat the flu.

Why It Matters

Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, which signed a patent-licensing agreement with Fujifilm for the generic drug Favipiravir, received approval from Chinese authorities in February to conduct clinical trials for effectiveness against COVID-19, as reported by Reuters at the time.

About 200 patients at hospitals in Chinese cities of Wuhan and Shenzhen are said to have participated in the trials, according to the Nikkei.

The spread of the coronavirus has slowed down drastically in China to double-digits, with a total of 81, 086 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 3,200 people have died from COVID-19 in China, and another 4,713 have died outside the country.

Price Action

Fujifilm's shares traded 15.43% higher at $48.94 in Tokyo at press time on Wednesday. The shares closed 19.51% higher at $47.90 in the otc market on Tuesday.

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