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Russia’s Avifavir pill shows promise against Omicron, Delta

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Russia-based pharma company ChemRar Group on Tuesday announced that its anti-Covid pill, named Avifavir, is effective against Delta as well as the new Omicron variant of Coronavirus.

Avifavir affects the highly conservative and mutation-resistant replication systems of RNA virus (RdRp) via three complementary mechanisms, resulting in complete blockade of the viral infection, the company said in a statement.

In addition, the virus is incapable of developing resistance to favipiravir – an antiviral – even with long-term exposure on infected cells, as has been confirmed in clinical trials. This provides Avifavir with a major advantage not only over highly specific biologics but also over many other similar nucleoside products prone to inducing rapid evolution of resistant clinical variants.

A meta-analysis of 23 Covid-19 treatment studies demonstrated a 47 per cent improvement when favipiravir is used in early treatment of Coronavirus.

Avifavir is the first drug approved for the Coronavirus treatment in Russia, and the first Favipiravir-based drug registered in the world for treatment of the Coronavirus. It was released on the market in June 2020.

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Clinical studies of the drug, in which 460 patients with confirmed Coronavirus participated, proved the efficacy of the drug against the Coronavirus, the ability to relieve symptoms and reduce the duration of the course of the disease in half compared with standard therapy.

Avifavir has also been supplied to more than 15 countries around the world.

Avifavir demonstrated the best results in Covid treatment when used in the first 3-5 days after first symptoms. After the first four days of treatment, 65 per cent of patients on Avifavir tested negative for Coronavirus, twice the rate of the standard treatment group. By day 10, the number of negative patients had reached 90 per cent.

In 68 per cent of patients on Avifavir, body temperature normalised earlier (on Day 3) compared to the control group (on Day 6).

“Having accumulated an extensive experience with Avifavir in patients infected with Covid both from clinical trials and real-world clinical practice, we see that taking Avifavir in the first 3-5 days after infection leads to a milder disease in most cases and prevents hospitalisation,” said Elena Yakubova, Medical Director of ChemRar Group, in the statement.

“Over the past 17 months, more than four million patients have been treated with favipiravir worldwide. The product was well tolerated with no new adverse events, which confirms the high safety of favipiravir,” Yakubova added.

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