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Ebola Drug Nears Approval

An influenza drug created by Japan’s Fujifilm Holding Corp. could be approved to treat Ebola by the end of this year.

The drug, Avigan, already has been used in Norway, France, Germany and Spain to treat Ebola patients. It was approved in Japan earlier this year to counter new forms of influenza. “So far, four Ebola patients have recovered after being treated with the drug,” Fujifilm Chairman and Chief executive Shigetaka Komori told reporters in Tokyo.

The company’s supply of Avigan would be enough to treat 20,000 patients, and it has enough ingredients to make tablets to treat 300,000 people.

Fujifilm has been expanding its pharmaceutical division through a series of mergers and acquisitions to offset its shrinking photography business. In 2008, it bought Toyama Chemical Co, whose drug Avigan is being used against Ebola.