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Russia Has Three Drugs That Can Help Treat COVID-19 – Russian Academy of Sciences

© REUTERS / THILO SCHMUELGENPlastic vials containing tests for the coronavirus are pictured at a medical laboratory in Cologne, Germany, March 24, 2020, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. Picture taken March 24, 2020.
Plastic vials containing tests for the coronavirus are pictured at a medical laboratory in Cologne, Germany, March 24, 2020, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. Picture taken March 24, 2020. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Three antiviral drugs that can be used to treat COVID-19 were developed in Russia in conjunction with scholars from the Russian Academy of Sciences; the academy's vice president and head of the biomedical sciences unit Vladimir Chekhonin said.

The leading academician stated that the antiviral drug triazavirin was created several years ago at the Institute of Organic Synthesis at the Urals branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. This drug is now being tested by Chinese scientists for its ability to treat COVID-19.

“As of today, a special inhalant is ready, which can be used exclusively to treat viral respiratory infections. I am sure that it will be more than appropriate to treat COVID-19. And of course, having this option is extremely important in the current circumstances,” he said.

Chekhonin also stated that another drug, based on the Japanese-made antiviral treatment favipiravir, has been created by the Institute of Organic Synthesis in conjunction with the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry in Moscow. This drug has been adapted to meet Russian standards, he said.

“As far as I know, this drug is ready to be tested in specialized clinics in Russia,” Chekhonin stated.

Another viral drug, fortepren, has also passed clinical trials and should be assessed for its ability to treat COVID-19, the academician stated.

“As for fortepren, it has passed all its clinical trials, that is, it was even tested in humans. It is currently awaiting registration, after which it can be submitted for trials to see if it can treat COVID-19,” Chekhonin remarked.

According to the academician, testing the ability of these three drugs to treat the coronavirus disease is a top priority of both the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Ministry of Education and Science.

Chekhonin noted that as for now three prospective coronavirus vaccines are being developed in Russia with the participation of experts from the Russian Academy of Sciences.

"I hope and I am certain that in the end we will have our own effective broad-spectrum vaccine, not only from COVID-19, but that will, as I said, cover a whole range of other coronavirus infections," Chekhonin said.

He added that the three prospective coronavirus vaccines, which are being developed at three different institutions, have already attracted the attention of the Russian Health Ministry.

Chekhonin mentioned that two of the vaccines are protein-based, one of them uses recombinant coronavirus proteins.

Earlier, executive director the Russian state-owned corporation Rostec Oleg Yevtushenko revealed that Rostec was developing a portable mini-laboratory for coronavirus diagnostics, noting that the corporation was capable of developing vaccines.

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