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08 July
Wednesday

Russia

Russia begins to “game changer” in the fight against COVID-19

Clinical trials of the drug reportedly showed success in most cases within four days

Авифавир Photo: RDIF

/NOVOSTIVL/ Russia will start administering its first approved antiviral drug to treat coronavirus patients next week a move it described as “a game changer” that should speed a return to normal economic life.

The Russian Ministry of Health issued a registration certificate for the direct antiviral drug Favipiravir (trade name Avifavir) of domestic production, which has shown efficacy against COVID-19 in clinical trials. According to preliminary estimates, the effectiveness of Favipiravir was about 90%.

"This is a direct antiviral drug that acts directly on the virus.... At the first stage of the research, it was shown that the elimination of the virus is actually two times faster than in the control group. If we look at the numbers that we have - the average elimination time the virus was about four days, in contrast to the control group, where it was about nine days", - said Vladimir Chulanov, deputy director of the National Research Center for Phthisiopulmonology and Infectious Diseases of the Russian Ministry of Health.

According to the results of the first stage of clinical trials, the domestic “Favmipiravir” demonstrated safety: no new, previously not registered, side effects were revealed.

Russian hospitals can begin giving the drug to patients from June 11, with enough to treat around 60000 people per month, the Kirill Dmitriev head of Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund said.

There is currently no approved vaccine for the highly contagious and sometimes fatal illness and no consensus within the global scientific community about the efficacy of medication such as the Russian modified antiviral drug.

Registered under the name Avifavir, it is the first potential coronavirus treatment to be approved by Russia’s health ministry, however. It appeared on a government list of approved drugs on Saturday after clinical trials.

RDIF head said clinical trials involved 330 people and showed that the drug successfully treated the virus in most cases within four days.

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