Photo shows a closed entrance to the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, April 7, 2020. (Xinhua/Evgeny Sinitsyn)

Efficacy of the drug is above 80 percent, according to its producer.

MOSCOW, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Russia is currently carrying out clinical tests of Avifavir, which may prove to be an efficient treatment for COVID-19, the producer of the drug said in a statement on Monday.

"Avifavir is the first direct-acting antiviral drug registered in Russia that has proven effective against COVID-19 in clinical trials," ChemRar Group said in a statement.

Avifavir is produced by a joint venture of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia's sovereign wealth fund, and ChemRar Group, which includes research and development services and investment companies in the field of innovative pharmaceuticals.

The final stage of Avifavir clinical trials involving 330 patients, approved by the Russian Health Ministry on May 21, is ongoing, the statement said.

Efficacy of the drug is above 80 percent, a criterion for a drug with high antiviral activity, it said.

Following the first four days of treatment, 65 percent of the 40 patients who took Avifavir tested negative for coronavirus, which is twice as many as in the standard therapy group, the statement said.

By day 10, the number of patients whose tests returned negative results reached 90 percent, it added.

Avifavir has received a registration certificate from the Russian Health Ministry, thus becoming the first Favipiravir-based drug in the world approved for the treatment of COVID-19, according to the statement.

Favipiravir, sold under the brand name Avigan, is an antiviral medication used to treat influenza in Japan since 2014.

In early June, the first batches of Avifavir will be sent to Russia's Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare for approval for use, the statement said.

Deliveries of the first batches of the drug to Russian hospitals are expected on June 11, it added. 

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