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28 Dec, 2021 19:27

Russian drug effective against both Delta & Omicron – scientists

Avifavir targets the core of coronavirus, which doesn’t change from strain to strain
Russian drug effective against both Delta & Omicron – scientists

The team of Russian scientists behind a new Covid-19 drug, Avifavir, have issued a statement in which they insist that it is highly effective against the two strains of coronavirus, Delta and Omicron, that are currently dominant.

Covid-19, like most other ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses, is known to be highly prone to mutation, but the formula's developers say it remains effective regardless of the strain, as it targets the highly stable part of the virus.

Based on the antiviral medication favipiravir, the Russian drug targets the “genetically highly conservative RNA virus replication systems” that do not undergo mutation from strain to strain, according to a statement released on Monday by the manufacturer, ChemRar Group. The researchers report that the virus is unable to develop resistance to the drug “even with prolonged exposure of virus-infected cells to the product.”

Avifavir is particularly potent when administered within the first five days of falling ill. In some of the observed cases, it alleviated symptoms and reduced the overall duration of illness by as much as half compared to standard Covid-19 therapy.

To date, the Russian drug has been supplied to more than 15 countries, and a review of 40,000 patients is said to have elicited no reports of significant side effects. The scientists state that their efficacy and safety research is supported by the more than 700 papers on favipiravir added to the PubMed database over the past 18 months.

The ChemRar Group says Avifavir is the first Covid drug of its kind to be registered globally. It was developed back in May-June 2020 under the auspices of the Russian Direct Investment Fund. Its principal component, favipiravir, has been used to treat some forms of influenza and a number of other viral infections for many years, with the first studies having been conducted in Japan back in 2002.