Remdesivir, developed by US biotech firm Gilead Sciences, was previously tested in humans with Ebola and has shown promise in animal models for treating Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which are caused by other coronaviruses.
According to the broadcaster, Gilead Sciences is collaborating with three Japanese medical institutions, including Yokohama City Hospital, to obtain more data on the efficiency of Remdesivir in treatment of the COVID-19, and has started administering the drug to patients infected with the new strain of the coronavirus on Tuesday.
It is expected that 90 patients from Japan will participate in the study, the broadcaster added.
To date, the number of people confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus in Japan has surpassed 7,740, according to NHK. Tokyo accounts for the biggest number of cases in the country, 2158.