Posted on Jan 01, 2021, 4 p.m.
Russia is working on developing what could be the world’s first COVID-19 antidote, and the preclinical studies are reporting the drug may be more than 99% effective.
Russia’s Federal Medical and Biological Agency have announced the development of a drug to fight COVID-19, if effective this could become the world’s first direct-acting antiviral antidote, pending successful clinical trials.
The head of FMBA, Veronika Skvortsova says that thus far the preclinical studies have shown the drug is more than 99% effective, and she said that FMBA is ready to apply for permission for further testing.
“This is the first etiotropic drug that directly affects the virus. In fact, this is an antidote for coronavirus infection,” she informed Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Wednesday, noting that preclinical studies have been completed, which have shown the remedy to be “completely safe” and “highly efficient.”
“If clinical trials confirm the effectiveness of this drug, it will be the first safe, effective, direct-acting antiviral drug that has no analogs in the world,” she explained. According to Skvortsova, the drug does not affect the body or human immunity and it has demonstrated over 99% efficacy in animal studies by interfering with the reproduction of the virus. It is assumed that the drug will be used as a solution in a nebulizer several times a day.
"The drug specifically turns off the activity of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and kills it, not just dealing with the symptoms of the disease," the FMBA statement said.
The company is also developing another drug for the treatment of the most complex coronavirus cases that can suppress and prevent the hypercytokinemia physiological reaction immune response that leads to body tissue damage and is thought to possibly be causing the COVID-19 deaths.
In May 2020 the Russian Ministry of Health approved Avifavir, a Favipiravir-based coronavirus treatment that has been used in Japan since 2014 to fight severe forms of influenza, and the medication is being produced domestically.
Russia was also the first country to announce the registration of a coronavirus vaccine called Sputnik V, which after trials was reported to be 95% effective in producing antibodies after 40 days. Mass vaccination began in Moscow on December 5, 2020.
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