Russia to roll out its first approved COVID-19 drug next week

There is now 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.

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".

The final stage of Avifavir clinical trials involving 330 patients, approved by the national Health Ministry earlier in the month, is ongoing. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the ChemRar biotechnology firm last month touted "promising" clinical trials of a modified version of favipiravir, the generic version of Japanese firm Fujifilm's anti-flu drug Avigan.

More than 10.3 million lab tests for COVID-19 have been conducted across the country so far, it added. RDIF, which has a 50% share in the drug's manufacturer ChemRar, funded the trials and other work with its partners, to the tune of around 300 million roubles ($4.3 million), said Dmitriev, who explained that the costs to Russian Federation were much lower because of previous development work conducted in Japan. "We believe this is a game changer". The worldwide generic or chemical name is Favipiravir. "We believe that the drug is key to resuming full economic activity in Russian Federation". Since yesterday the infection claimed 138 lives, bringing the death toll to 4,693.

According to the latest official government data, 414,878 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in Russian Federation, and 4,855 have died. 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. Once Russia's own medical needs were covered, Dmitriev said it would look to export Avifavir.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed a decree allocating 10.9 billion rubles (155 million USA dollars) to subsidize the country's airports as the pandemic has greatly reduced passenger traffic, the government said Saturday.

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