Japanese pharmaceutical company says ivermectin shows 'antiviral effect' against COVID-19 infections

The Japanese trading and pharmaceutical company Kowa ran a non-clinical study with a Tokyo university

Updated: January 31, 2022 - 4:35pm

The Japanese trading and pharmaceutical company Kowa Co. Ltd. said Monday that ivermectin shows an "antiviral effect" against the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and other virus variants. 

The statement was based on joint, non-clinical trials the company has been running with Tokyo's Kitasato University.

The drug's use for treating COVID has been controversial, though clinical trials are ongoing.

The drug is not approved for use in treating the virus in Japan. And in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has continued to caution against its use – citing a lack of studies determining its efficacy against the virus.

The FDA says there have been a number of cases in which individuals were hospitalized following self-medicating with ivermectin – though there have also been a plethora of anecdotal accounts of ivermectin being used to successfully treat COVID cases in unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals.

The drug's use is being studied in the United Kingdom in a trial run through Oxford University. Researchers Monday declined to comment on the progression of their study.