First antiviral drug approved to fight COVID-19

FILE - This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The coronavirus outbreak has exposed a seeming disconnect between the financial markets and science. Health experts are uncertain how far the virus out of China will spread and how bad the crisis will get, yet stock markets are rallying as if they’re not expecting more than a modest hit to the global economy. (CDC via AP, File)

BEIJING — Favilavir, formerly known as Fapilavir, an antiviral that has shown efficacy in treating the novel coronavirus, was approved for marketing, the Taizhou government in Zhejiang province announced Sunday.

It is the first anti-novel coronavirus drug that has been approved for marketing by the National Medical Products Administration since the outbreak. Developed by Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Company, the drug is expected to play an important role in preventing and treating the epidemic, the government said on its official WeChat account.

Favilavir is one of three drugs that have shown significant efficacy in treating the novel coronavirus in clinical trials, the Ministry of Science and Technology said on Saturday.

The antiviral was put into production on Sunday.

Zhejiang province has reported 1,167 cases so far.

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