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Russia to Roll Out ‘Game-Changing’ Anti-Coronavirus Drug — Reuters

The coronavirus has battered Russia's economy and infected more than 400,000 of its citizens. Gavriil Grigorov / TASS

Russia will begin rolling out its first approved drug in the fight against coronavirus which it describes as “a game changer” starting next week, Reuters reported on Monday, citing the country's sovereign wealth fund. 

Russia has raced to develop a vaccine and other treatments for the coronavirus as the deadly pandemic has battered its economy and infected more than 400,000 of its citizens. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the ChemRar biotechnology firm last month touted “promising” clinical trials of a modified version of favipiravir, the generic version of Japanese firm Fujifilm’s anti-flu drug Avigan.

Russia’s Health Ministry has approved the modified antiviral drug, which is registered in Russia as Avifavir, for treating coronavirus patients, and clinics will be able to administer it in tablet form starting June 11, with enough supplies to treat around 60,000 people per month, head of the RDIF Kirill Dmitriev told Reuters.

“We believe this is a game changer. It will reduce strain on the healthcare system, we’ll have fewer people getting into a critical condition, and for 90% of people it eliminates the virus within 10 days,” Reuters quoted Dmitriev as saying.

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