US, Russia, and Other Countries Rush to Find Coronavirus Treatments

Posted on 05/22/2020


According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) has now infected over 5 million and killed 328,227 people worldwide.

Nearly every industrialized nation is racing to fund a cure, vaccine, or treatment for COVID-19. U.S. President Donald Trump revealed a “massive scientific, industrial, and logistical endeavor” called “Operation Warp Speed,” to discover, manufacture, and distribute a proven vaccine against the coronavirus. In May, Moderna got approved for a Fast Track designation for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. British-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca has received more than $1 billion from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to create a coronavirus vaccine from the University of Oxford. The University of Oxford partnered with AstraZeneca in April 2020

Russia

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the ChemRar Group disclosed the start of the final stage of the multicenter randomized open comparative clinical trial of the drug Favipiravir on patients hospitalized with COVID-19. On May 21, 2020, the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation approved the launch of the final stage, which will involve 330 patients compared to 60 during the initial stage, as well as additional research and medical centers. Favipiravir is sold under the brand name Avigan. Favipiravir is an antiviral medication used to treat influenza in Japan. It is also being studied to treat a number of other viral infections. Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping for approval of Avigan, developed by a Fujifilm Holdings Corporation subsidiary, by the end of May 2020.

RDIF and partners have launched the production of the unique Russian-Japanese EMG diagnostic system, which generates results in 30 minutes with an accuracy of more than 99.9% in both stationary and unmatched portable mini-laboratories. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has joined the project through the Russia-Japan Investment Fund. Furthermore, RDIF and the ChemRar Group have produced the first batch of Favipiravir, a drug that has proven effective in the treatment of infected patients in China and in clinical trials in Russia. Preparations are currently underway for the mass production of the drug.