The first batch of antiviral drug Favipiravir, which showed good results when tested on novel coronavirus patients in China earlier this year, will appear on the Russian market in about one week, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Chief Executive Officer Kirill Dmitriev said.
"Together with the ChemRar Group, we are investing into a medicine that showed excellent results in China, and the first batch will arrive in one week," he said in an interview with Russia’s Channel One on Monday night, TASS reports.
Dmitriev also said that that more investments will be made into production of medicines and equipment needed to fight the novel coronavirus.
"We plan to invest into enterprises producing ventilators and other medical equipment," he said. "We are actively searching for areas in different industries, related to the fight against coronavirus, where we can be of use."
Favipiravir is an antiviral drug created in Japan that was approved for marketing in 2014.
Last month, the Supervisory Board of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has approved the creation of a joint venture with ChemRar Group aimed at production of Favipiravir and other related innovative antiviral medicines, the Fund said in a statement.
On March 17, Zhang Xinmin, head of China’s National Center for Biotechnology Development, told media about Favipiravir’s effectiveness against the coronavirus as proved by clinical studies held in Wuhan and Shenzhen, the Fund said. Patients treated with Favipiravir tested negative for coronavirus in four days, whereas for those not receiving the drug it took 11 days to do so. Zhang updated reporters that in 91% of the treated group the conditions of their lungs improved, compared with 62% of those in the control group.