Russia’s newly approved drug for combating Covid-19 will soon be supplied to the country’s hospitals, with the first deliveries expected on June 11. Trials have shown the medication to be highly effective in fighting the virus.
On Saturday, the country’s Ministry of Health registered Avifavir, a domestic version of the Japanese drug Favipiravir, which is used against severe forms of influenza. Produced in a joint venture by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the ChemRar group, the drug could be vitally important in the battle to defeat Covid-19.
“Avifavir is not only the first antiviral drug registered against coronavirus in Russia, but it is also perhaps the most promising drug against Covid-19 in the world,” said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the RDIF.
“It was developed and tested in clinical trials in Russia in an unprecedented short period of time, enabling Avifavir to become the first registered drug based on Favipiravir in the world.”
According to the developers, Avifavir disrupts the reproduction mechanisms of Covid-19, and has shown “high efficacy in treating patients with coronavirus during clinical trials.” A study revealed that the virus dies in an average of just four days when a patient takes the drug, compared to nine with a standard course of treatment.
On June 1, the RDIF announced that the 60,000 courses of Avifavir would be delivered to hospitals in Russia this month, with the first expected to arrive on June 11. The drug will not go on sale and will only be used in hospitals under the supervision of a doctor. Avifavir will not be prescribed during pregnancy due to a possible effect on the fetus.
According to the latest official government data, 414,878 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in Russia, and 4,855 have died. Compared to the rest of the world, Russia has the third most confirmed coronavirus cases, trailing behind the USA (1,790,191) and Brazil (514,849).