Fujifilm signs a patent license agreement on its anti-influenza drug Avigan Tablet* with China's major pharmaceutical company Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical

June 22, 2016

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has announced that it signed a patent license agreement concerning Favipiravir, an effective ingredient of its anti-influenza drug “Avigan Tablet 200mg” (hereinafter “Avigan”), with China's major pharmaceutical company Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (President and CEO: Hua Bai; hereinafter “Hisun Pharmaceutical”) on June 21.
Under this agreement, Fujifilm grants Hisun Pharmaceutical a license to use its Favipiravir-related patents** in China to develop, manufacture and market an anti-influenza drug in China. Fujifilm will receive a lump-sum payment and royalties once such a influenza drug is successfully introduced to the market.

Avigan Tablet, created by the Fujifilm Group company Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd., is an anti-influenza drug approved for manufacturing and marketing in Japan in March 2014.
Influenza viruses replicate their genes within infected cells to propagate and release new viral particles and to spread the infection to other cells. Most existing anti-influenza drugs are Neuraminidase inhibitors, designed to block the release of propagated viral particles to prevent the spread of infection.
In contrast, Avigan Tablet is a viral RNA polymerase inhibitor that blocks viral gene replication in cells thus preventing them from propagation. Due to this different mechanism of action, animal testing confirmed efficacy on a variety of avian influenza viruses.

Hisun Pharmaceutical is China's major pharmaceutical company that conducts R&D, production and marketing of active pharmaceutical ingredients and pharmaceuticals such as anti-cancer drugs and antibiotics. The company operates in over 70 countries and regions around the world, and has actively pursued global partnerships with pharmaceutical giants.
Hisun Pharmaceutical directed its attention to Avigan, which has manufacturing and marketing approval in Japan, to counter the growing concerns about a possible influenza pandemic in China. Anticipating Avigan's efficacy on Ebola virus and various other types of Negative-sense single strand RNA virus, which belong to the same category as influenza virus, the company approached Fujifilm last year to seek a patent license for the drug's effective ingredient, Favipiravir.

China has had reports of humans infected with avian influenza (H5N1, H7N9, etc.) in addition to regular seasonal influenza. The need to develop new drugs for treating influenza has come amidst mounting concerns— in recent years that avian influenza viruses could mutate into a new type of virus, capable of human-to-human transmission. Such a mutation could potentially trigger a pandemic.

Fujifilm will continue to develop and supply innovative pharmaceutical products, resolving many of society's health challenges by combining the technologies and know-how accumulated in the photographic film business including chemical synthesis capacity, design ability, analysis technology and nanotechnology, with the technological expertise of its medical and pharmaceutical affiliates such as Toyama Chemical.

  • * Concerning Avigan's effective ingredient, Favipiravir
  • ** Including substance patent and application patent
<Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.>
President and CEO Hua Bai
Address 46 Waisha Rd., Jiaojiang District, Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province
Year of establishment 1956
Paid-in capital 966 million yuan
Annual net sales 10.1 billion yuan (for the fiscal year ending in December 2014)
Headcount about 9,000 employees

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TEL: +81-3-6271-2171