Avigan came to prominence because it was actually effective in a Chinese trial that used it on patients infected with the new corona. At the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan City, which is believed to be the source of the new coronavirus, patients were divided into two groups (116 patients) treated with Avigan (favipiraviravir, a generic product in China) and one group (120 patients) treated with albidol, a drug that inhibits the entry of the virus, to compare the effects. Recovery rates were 71.4% and 55.9% in the Abigan and Arbidol groups, respectively.
At Shenzhen Third People’s Hospital, a comparison was made between a group of 35 people who received Abigan and a group of 45 people who received Caletra, an anti-HIV drug that is believed to be effective against the new corona, showing that the new coronavirus disappeared for four days in the Abigan group and 11 days in the Caletra group. In terms of the rate of improvement by chest imaging, Abigan showed a benefit of 91.4% in the Abigan group and 62.2% in the Caletra group.
The two trials were published as papers in March, but it is understood that the latter was withdrawn just this month. The reason for this is unclear.