The outcomes of clinical trials conducted by medical authorities in China suggest that a drug used in Japan to treat new strands of the influenza appears to be effective in coronavirus patients.

Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s science and technology ministry, told reporters on Tuesday that the drug favipiravir has “a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment.”

Favipiravir Coronavirus Treatment

Patients who were given the medicine during trials turned negative after an average of four days after contracting the virus. In comparison, those who were not treated with the drug turned negative after an average of 11 days.

Researchers also found that the lung condition of patients improved about 91% of the patients who were given the drug, compared to 62% of patients who did not take it.

Results of the trials suggest that the drug is not effective in treating patients with more severe symptoms of the virus.

The trials involved 340 patients in total.

Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, which developed favipiravir in 2014, has declined to comment.