TOYKO (LifeSiteNews) – Japanese conglomerate and pharmaceuticals company Kowa found that ivermectin has an “antiviral effect” against the Omicron strain of coronavirus, the company announced Monday.
In a press release, Kowa said that the renowned anti-parasitic drug shows antiviral properties in a lab setting against the new variant and all other existing strains of the virus, including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.
Researchers previously found that ivermectin inhibits replication and intracellular entry of coronavirus in laboratory studies, Kowa noted. The company added that it expects the drug to be applied as a therapeutic for all new coronavirus diseases.
Kowa has been investigating ivermectin as a treatment for COVID with Tokyo’s Kitasato University since 2021 and is currently testing the drug in a Phase III clinical trial, which ends in March. The conglomerate noted in Monday’s press release that Kitasato University professor Dr. Satoshi Omura, who shared the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering ivermectin, directly requested that Kowa conduct the trials.
Omura has strongly supported the use of ivermectin as a COVID-19 therapeutic. A paper he co-authored in the Japanese Journal of Antibiotics in March 2021 reported that COVID patients showed significant improvement when treated with the medication.
In a meta-analysis of 42 clinical studies that included around 15,000 patients, 83 percent of patients improved with ivermectin during early treatment and 51 percent showed improvements with late-stage treatment, according to the paper.
“Ivermectin, which has already been approved and widely used, is found to be effective,” the authors concluded. “It is hoped that ivermectin will be utilized as a countermeasure for COVID-19 as soon as possible.”
Dr. Haruo Ozaki, chairman of the Tokyo Medical Association, has similarly urged doctors to use ivermectin to treat the virus.
Several studies have demonstrated that the drug can reduce illness and death in COVID patients. Randomized controlled trials have found that ivermectin curbs hospitalization and symptomatic illness, and a 2020 study reported that patients given ivermectin had a markedly lower mortality rate.
Ivermectin is considered extremely safe and has been administered more than 3.7 billion times since being approved for human use over 30 years ago. The drug is not associated with serious adverse effects, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and virtually no deaths have been linked to it.
“In some countries, especially in Africa, it has been so safe that volunteers distribute it directly to people,” Kowa said Monday.
Data on the safety and efficacy of ivermectin has already led to use of the drug against COVID in more than 20 countries, including Brazil and India.
Last year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) upgraded its recommendation of ivermectin, allowing it as a treatment option for coronavirus after advocacy by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCCA), an organization of physicians who care for COVID-19 patients and advocate for therapeutic protocols that include ivermectin.
Japan's Kowa says ivermectin showed 'antiviral effect' against Omicron https://t.co/dmVZlDDJSb
— FLCCC—Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (@Covid19Critical) January 31, 2022
Nearly 2,400 physicians have endorsed the FLCCCA’s protocols, according to the group.