- Russia has the 3rd highest number of infected around the world.
- The drug is approved only for hospital use.
- The manufacturer of the drug is a Japanese company.
Coronavirus continues to be a global pandemic. Currently, there are over 6.2 million cases and over 370,000 deaths around the world. At this time, according to the released data by the Russian government over 400,000 people are infected with COVID-19. Russia approved a new drug to treat coronavirus.
The interim data from the Avifavir clinical trial confirm the high effectiveness of the drug for the treatment of COVID-19. The final stage of the Avifavir clinical trial, approved by the Russian Ministry of Health on May 21, is currently underway, with the participation of 330 patients. The drug is expected to be distributed to majority of Russian hospitals within a month.
The drug has demonstrated high effectiveness based on the results of tests conducted by a number of leading medical and scientific centers, including the first Moscow State Medical University (named after I. M. Sechenov), Lomonosov Moscow state University and a myriad of others.
First Moscow State Medical University is the oldest medical school in Russia, located in Moscow. The university was founded in 1758 as medical faculty of Imperial Moscow University as the first medical school in Russia.
The drug will only be available for hospital use. All these class of drugs are very serious. All interferon modification drugs that stimulate the immune system are never distributed for non prescription sales. This class of drugs treats severe pathologies of people. Interferons are proteins produced by tumor cells or host cells that are infected with viruses, bacteria and other unknown nucleic acids. Interferons also activate other cells that serve as part of the immune system and destroy invading pathogens.
This is “the first direct antiviral drug registered in the Russian Federation that violates the mechanisms of reproduction of the coronavirus” and it has shown “high effectiveness in the treatment of patients with coronavirus in clinical trials.” Avifavir has been well studied because it has been used in Japan since 2014 against severe forms of influenza.
The drug was developed by the Japanese company Toyama Chemical under the name “Favipiravir.”
Toyama Chemical Co. Ltd. manufactures and distributes pharmaceutical products. The Company produces antibiotics, digestive agents, analgesic agents, and other products. Toyama Chemical also produces industrial chemicals, health foods, and other products.
It has the commercial name “Avigan.” According to the Journal Pharmacology & Therapeutics, it works well against new flu strains and is not very effective against common seasonal viruses.
“Favipiravir” is embedded in the ribonucleic acid of the virus, preventing it from multiplying. Doctors have discovered that it works against various RNA viruses, including the Ebola virus, which caused a severe outbreak of fever in Central Africa several years ago. The drug can cause deformity in a child if a woman takes it during pregnancy, the study said.
Overall, it is exciting news in the fight to stop the coronavirus pandemic.