We often forget that most camera companies don’t just make cameras and lenses. Take Fujifilm, for example, whose subsidiaries include Fujifilm Pharmaceutical. A subsidiary which, according to a report, has helped to raise Fujifilm’s share value by 8.8% over the weekend after Japan’s Health Minister mentioned the country’s plans to recommend Fujifilm’s Avigan drug to treat coronavirus.
According to the at Fujifilm press release from 2016, Avigan is an antiviral and primarily an anti-influenza drug that has proven to be effected for other viruses, such as Ebola – having been administered to Ebola patients as an emergency measure dowing 2014 and 2015.
The Guinean government has since formally adopted Avigan as part of their standard treatment for Ebola, and now it seems that test dosages of Avigan have displayed positive effects in mild and asymptomatic coronavirus cases. As a result, the report says, Japan is planning to recommend the drug for treating coronavirus.
While this share price increase doesn’t directly relate Fujifilm’s photography related activities, this drug adoption may help to restrict the spread of the virus which has resulted in supply chain issues that Fujifilm’s camera and lens production is no doubt facing – issues that other manufacturers in all industries across the world are also facing.
The coronavirus has also already caused the cancellation of two major electronics and photographic trade shows. So far, The Photography Show in the UK next month, NAB in Las Vegas in April, and Photokina in Cologne, Germany in May are all currently still going ahead as planned. With the latest news coming out of Italy, however, this may change.