Russia has reportedly approved an anti-influenza drug to treat Covid-19 and will start delivering the drug to hospitals. According to the latest report from CNBC the drug is Avifavir, and it will be sent to hospitals this month.
Russia’s sovereign wealth fund (RDIF) reportedly provided funding into Russia’s development and production of the drug.
This drug is based on favipiravir which is an anti-influenza drug first developed in Japan under the name Avigan, in a 50-50 joint venture with Russian pharmaceutical firm ChemRar.
Tests show recovery for patients
It’s been also revealed that the preliminary trials seem to show that this drug could shorten recovery times for patients who have been diagnosed with Covid-19.
The final stage of the clinical trials for this drug which involve 330 patients continue but Russia’s Ministry of Health approved the use of the drug.
“It’s a major, major step forward,” RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev told CNBC today.
He continued and said “We believe there are now only two antiviral drugs against the virus that are really effective, those are remdesivir, done by the U.S., and this favipiravir, which also has significant promise.”
The first coronavirus treatment in the world
RDIF and ChemRar Group said that they plan to deliver 60,000 courses of the drug to Russian hospitals these months and promoted it as the first coronavirus treatment in the world.
“Avifavir is Russia’s first Covid-19 drug and has shown high efficacy in treating patients with coronavirus during clinical trials. Avifavir has received a registration certificate from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. Thus, Avifavir has become the first Favipiravir-based drug in the world approved for the treatment of Covid-19,” they stated.
Data received from an earlier clinical trial of the drug showed that 65% of the 40 patients tested negative for the novel virus following 5 days of treatment.