Russia backing antiviral drug Avifavir good news for India: Scientists

New Delhi: Russia's approval of the antiviral drug Avifavir to treat COVID-19 is good news for India as it is based on an influenza medication already in advanced clinical trials here, say scientists. Avifavir, described by developers in Russia as perhaps the most promising anti COVID-19 drug in the world, is derived from Favipiravir.

Mumbai-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals announced last week Favipiravir is under phase 3 clinical trials — the penultimate stage in drug testing — in India.

Stating Avifavir has shown high efficacy in treating vir­us patients during clinical tr­i­als, the Russian Direct Inv­e­s­tment Fund (RDIF) on Monday said it will deliver 60,000 courses of the drug to Russian hospitals in June.

It also said Avifavir has become the first Favipiravir-based drug in the world to be approved for the treatment of COVID-19, it said.

The close derivative link between Avifavir and Favipiravir is reason for hope in India too, said scientists here.

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