Russian pharmaceutical company R-Pharm has secured regulatory approval for the use of its antiviral drug Coronavir, to treat patients suffering from Covid-19.

The approval comes after a clinical trial in mild to moderate Covid-19 patients showed that the drug is highly effective in blocking replication of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease.

R-Pharm was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Coronavir is one of the first drugs in Russia and in the world that does not tackle the complications caused by SARS-CoV-2, but battles the virus itself.”

Study data revealed improvement in 55% of outpatients on day seven of treatment with the drug, compared to 20% of those on standard etiotropic therapy, which targets disease cause instead of symptoms.

In addition, a significant difference was observed at 14 days, added the company. The virus was found to be eliminated in 77.5% of Covid-19 patients by day five of treatment with Coronavir.

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In a statement, R-Pharm medical director Mikhail Samsonov said: “Global clinical practice and the clinical study we conducted have confirmed that Coronavir puts a much more rapid stop to the infection as a result of its effective obstruction of the virus’s replication.”

According to Russia’s Central Research Institute of Epidemiology clinical trials head Tatyana Ryzhentsova, the drug entered clinical testing in May and has been used to treat more than 110 outpatients so far.

Last month, Russia granted temporary approval to Covid-19 treatment, Avifavir, produced by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and ChemRar Group.

Said to be the country’s first Covid-19 drug, Avifavir is a generic version of anti-flu drug Avigan, used in Japan since 2014 to treat severe forms of influenza.

RDIF is now seeking approval for the use of the drug to treat Covid-19 at home, noted Reuters.

Avifavir yielded positive data in Phase II and III trials, as well as during the first month of hospital use in patients with early and middle stages of Covid-19.