Russia-based ChemRar Group has reported that its drug, Avifavir (favipiravir), demonstrated effectiveness against several SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Delta and Omicron.

Avifavir is a direct antiviral to treat Covid-19.

Supported by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), ChemRar developed and introduced the drug in Russia and several global markets in June last year.

The drug works on the greatly conservative and mutation-resistant replication systems of the virus through three complementary mechanisms, thereby causing complete infection blockade.

As validated in clinical trials, the virus cannot develop resistance to Avifavir despite continued exposure on infected cells.

The company stated that Avifavir has an advantage not only over greatly specific therapies but also over several other comparable nucleoside drugs that are susceptible to causing quick evolution of resistant variants.

Quick mutation is a common concern with RNA viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2. The majority of the mutations are seen in the spike protein structure, specifically in two of its important components that the human immune system recognises.

A meta-assessment of 23 Covid-19 therapy studies of favipiravir showed that early treatment with the drug resulted in a 47% improvement.

Furthermore, the antiviral’s efficacy was established in a full-scale trial in Russia that enrolled 460 individuals infected with Covid-19.

In clinical trial, 65% of the subjects who received Avifavir were tested negative for Covid-19 following four days of treatment, which is twice the rate of the standard treatment arm.

ChemRar Group medical director Elena Yakubova said: “Having accumulated extensive experience with Avifavir in patients infected with Covid-19 both from clinical trials and real-world clinical practise, we see that taking Avifavir in the first three to five days after infection leads to a milder disease in most cases and prevents hospitalisation.

“The product was well tolerated with no new adverse events, which confirms the high safety of favipiravir.”

In September last year, the RDIF and ChemRar Group agreed to supply Avifavir to 17 countries.