60% of 40 patients using the Japanese favipiravir flu drug had a negative result for nCoV after only 5 days. The announcement was announced on May 13 by Kirill Dmitriev, director of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). He said this drug treatment could halve recovery time while reducing the burden on health centers and 50% of severely ill patients.
As planned, the clinical trial with 330 patients infected with Covid-19 will end by the end of May. In addition, RDIF is increasing investment to produce test kits domestically while providing US $ 2 million. funding a favipiravir clinical trial project in Russia.
Professor Andrei Ivashchenko, of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said the company could produce tens of thousands of therapeutic doses per month, the figure deemed the minimum required for the whole country.
However, there is currently insufficient data to say how effective treatment will be for critically ill patients. Initial tests have shown that the drug has some side effects, such as when pregnant women are not used and can cause birth defects in young children.
Favipiravir, produced by a medical subsidiary of Fujifilm. The drug has been licensed for use in Japan since 2014 and is being tested in China to treat Covid-19. The drug has also been tested by pharmaceutical company Glenmark in India.
Since the outbreak of the disease, countries have been rushing to develop drugs to treat viruses. Antiviral drugs, if present, would be a quicker solution than vaccines, which require a lot of money and time, about 18 months to two years.
Currently, trials of Covid-19 are mainly used for old drugs with different uses such as remdesivir antiviral drugs, cloroquine or hydroxychloroquine anti-malaria drugs, HIV ritonavir inhibitors and lopinavir, interferon arthritis drugs … In particular, the remdesivir antiviral drug showed positive results in treating Covid-19 patients and was licensed for use in the US and Japan.
As of May 13, Russia recorded more than 242,000 infections and 2,212 deaths. Worldwide, more than 4.4 million people are infected and more than 298,000 people die from the disease.