Russia Approves Antiviral Medication To Shorten COVID-19 Recovery Time
June 1, 2020 (EIRNS)—Russia announced an effective treatment for the coronavirus, which hospitals will start using immediately, CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt reported today. Russia’s Ministry of Health temporarily approved the use of the drug Avifavir as a coronavirus treatment on May 30, after preliminary trials showed it could shorten recovery times for patients with COVID-19.
The final stage of Avifavir clinical trials, which involved 330 patients, has been ongoing, and Avifavir began to be delivered to hospitals June 1, according to Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, RDIF. RDIF provided money for Russia’s development and production of the drug, generically favipiravir, an anti-influenza drug developed in Japan under the brand name Avigan—in a 50-50 joint venture with the Russian pharmaceutical firm ChemRar.
RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev told CNBC today, “It’s a major, major step forward. 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,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.”
RDIF and the ChemRar group said today that they will deliver 60,000 courses of Avifavir to Russian hospitals in June, in a statement:
“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.”
According to data received from an earlier clinical trial of the drug, 65% of the 40 patients tested negative for coronavirus after five days of treatment, which was two times higher than the standard therapy ground, RDIF and ChemRar said in May.
Russia has the third-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, with 405,843, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The official death toll, however, has remained low, at 4,693. RDIF CEO Dmitriev said, “It’s important for many countries to cooperate.... There’s no doubt we were able to succeed only by sharing our information with other countries, and receiving information from other countries,” citing Japan.