RDIF and ChemRar announce the Russian Ministry of Health has included Avifavir in the list of nationally recommended drugs for treatment of COVID-19

  • Avifavir is one of the two registered COVID-19 drugs in the world
  • Avifavir is the first drug registered in Russia that has demonstrated efficacy against COVID-19 in clinical trials
  • Avifavir has become the first Favipiravir-based drug in the world approved for treatment of COVID-19

Moscow, June 3, 2020 — The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, and the ChemRar Group today announce Avifavir has been included in the seventh edition of the Ministry of Health’s guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of new coronavirus infection COVID-19.

Avifavir is one of the two registered COVID-19 drugs in the world. It has shown high efficacy in clinical trials, disrupting the reproduction mechanisms of coronavirus. On May 29, 2020, Avifavir received a registration certificate from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation and became the first Favipiravir-based drug in the world approved for treatment of COVID-19.

The first batches of Avifavir will be sent to Russian hospitals from June 11, 2020 and they will receive 60,000 courses of the drug during the month. The intermediate data from the Avifavir clinical trials confirms its high efficacy against COVID-19. The final stage of Avifavir clinical trials involving 330 patients in 35 medical centers, approved by the Russian Ministry of Health on May 21, 2020, is ongoing.

The drug proved to be highly effective during the clinical trials involving I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Lomonosov Moscow State University and other medical and academic institutions.

  • According to the results of the 10 days of clinical trials, Avifavir demonstrated safety with no new or previously unreported side effects detected;
  • A median viral clearance time was four days versus a period of nine days with standard therapy, according to the study;
  • Efficacy of the drug is above 80%, a criterion for a drug with high antiviral activity;
  • Following the first four days of treatment, 65% of the 40 patients receiving Avifavir tested negative for coronavirus, which is twice as many as in the standard therapy group. By day 10, the number of patients whose tests returned negative results reached 90%;
  • The body temperature of 68% of patients taking Avifavir returned to normal earlier (on the third day) than in the control group (on the sixth day);
  • The drug is undergoing trials in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Tver, Nizhny Novgorod, Smolensk, Ryazan, Kazan, Ufa and in the Republic of Dagestan.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said:

“Avifavir is one of the two registered drugs against coronavirus in the world. It is also the first drug against coronavirus registered in Russia, having demonstrated efficacy in clinical trials. Its inclusion in the guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus will allow patients across the country to receive therapy using the most effective drug currently available in Russia, as well as preventing the Russian healthcare system from being overwhelmed by the reduction in recovery time.”

Mikhail Kirpichnikov, an academician, Academician-Secretary of the Department of Biological Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dean of the Faculty of Biology at Lomonosov Moscow State University, said:

“The partnership of RDIF and ChemRar as part of a consortium has led to the creation of the first effective special treatment solution for retroviral infection. Today it is one of the most promising treatments and will be used to search for new medicines in the future. Thanks to Avifavir it will be possible to control the pandemic not only through quarantine measures, but also through effective treatment and care for patients.

I am very pleased with the success achieved by the ChemRar team, RDIF and other project participants. In the absence of a vaccine, the appearance of the most promising solution to date, which directly acts against coronavirus SARS-COV-2, creates fundamental new opportunities and  brings us much closer to the successful elimination of this crisis for civilization.»

Alexander Melerzanov, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Deputy Director for Postgraduate Education and International Cooperation at the Physics and Technology School of Biological and Medical Physics of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), expert of the Russian Academy of Sciences, visiting professor at Chengjou University, said:

“The decision to produce a domestic functional analogue of the Japanese drug was based on the positive experience of using the original drug in Asia. As part of the import substitution strategy, production was established in record time. As Avifavir has received the registration certificate of the Ministry of Health, Russia has become the first country in the world to make this drug available for mass use. According to preliminary data, Avifavir is more effective and shows a higher percentage of recovery in a shorter time compared to the American antiviral drug Remdesevir.»

Konstantin Balakin, Doctor of Chemistry, Head of the Department of Medical Chemistry, Kazan Federal University, Scientific Secretary of the Scientific Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Medical Chemistry, said:

“The drug has a clear mechanism of action — it blocks the replication of the virus inside the cell, thereby disrupting its development cycle. At the same time, Avifavir does not suppress similar processes occurring in human cells, and for this reason is not toxic to them. This significantly distinguishes Favipiravir from many antiviral agents currently used, whose mechanisms of action are unclear and require comprehensive study. To date, the results demonstrate the high efficacy of treatment of patients with COVID-19 and the absence of undesirable side effects. Therefore, we believe that the drug presents a real opportunity to significantly improve the situation with coronavirus therapy.”

Elena Pavlikova, Chief Researcher of the Medical Scientific and Educational Center of Lomonosov Moscow State University, said:

“During clinical trials, the drug demonstrated the possibility of significantly increasing the effectiveness of treatment of patients with coronavirus infection. Due to the accelerated time required to normalize the body temperature and eliminate the virus without serious adverse effects, we are highly optimistic about the widespread use of Avifavir. A quick recovery and early discharge of patients receiving Avifavir lifts the spirits of medical staff working in difficult epidemic conditions.”

Elena Simakina, Head of the Infectious Diseases Unit of Clinical Hospital No. 1, Smolensk, said:

“It was a pleasure but also a responsibility to participate in the clinical trials of the drug. Tolerance is good, with no nausea, abdominal discomfort or diarrhea, which often occur in standard therapy. Additionally, the drug does not taste bitter. Avifavir’s high efficacy and ability to ensure rapid viral clearance, as well as the relief of clinical symptoms and ultimately a more favorable outcome, were also very satisfying. From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank our patients who have entrusted their lives to our team and have come all this way with us for the benefit of future victories against coronavirus.”


Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia’s sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management company is based in Moscow. Currently, RDIF has experience of the successful joint implementation of more than 80 projects with foreign partners totaling more than RUB1.8 tn and covering 95% of the regions of the Russian Federation. RDIF portfolio companies employ more than 800,000 people and generate revenues which equate to more than 6% of Russia’s GDP. RDIF has established joint strategic partnerships with leading international co-investors from more than 15 countries that total more than $40 bn.

RDIF takes active steps to counteract COVID-19:

  • RDIF and partners have launched the production of the unique Russian-Japanese EMG diagnostic system, which generates results in 30 minutes with a very high accuracy in both stationary and unmatched portable mini-laboratories. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has joined the project through the Russia-Japan Investment Fund;
  • RDIF and the ChemRar Group have started the mass-scale production of Avifavir, which has proven effective against coronavirus in clinical trials and received a registration certificate from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation;
  • RDIF has launched a project to diagnose and detect pneumonia, including that caused by coronavirus, using CT scans combined with the Russian-UAE artificial intelligence (AI) technology developed jointly by Group 42 (G42), RDIF and Medscan Group;
  • RDIF has provided support to the public in observing the lockdown restrictions and self-isolation regime, driving a several-fold increase in telemedicine consultations via the Doctis service, as well as in access and subscriptions to the ivi online media library, delivery of Elementaree meal kits and demand for products and services of other RDIF portfolio companies;
  • The Mother and Child Group, an RDIF’s portfolio company, has repurposed its largest clinical hospital Lapino to treat patients with COVID-19
  • RDIF was one of the initiators of the Alliance against coronavirus, which also includes the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE), Yandex, Mail.ru Group and the Rossiya Segodnya international news agency. RDIF is actively involved in key initiatives and charity projects.

Further information can be found at www.rdif.ru

ChemRar Group unites R&D service and investment companies in the field of innovative pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialization of innovative medicines, diagnostics, preventive care and new treatments of life-threatening diseases in Russia and abroad.

ChemRar Group celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2020. Throughout its history, the company has maintained and improved the achievements and quality of its medical chemistry and has built a team of world-class employees and scientists. Their efforts have made ChemRar one of the global leaders in the industry today.

Further information can be found at https://en.chemrar.ru/

For additional information contact:

Elena Surina

ChemRar Group

PR Director

Mobile +7 9262067871

E-mail: es@chemrar.ru

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