Chromis, a joint venture of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and ChemRar Group, was rated by Rospatent among Russia’s TOP 100 Inventions for the second half of 2020 and was awarded a diploma for the development of a favipiravir-based formulation Avifavir® — the world’s first medicine registered for COVID-19 treatment. In addition to anti-SARS-CoV-2 viral activity, this formulation can also be used for other RNA viral diseases, including the prevention and treatment of resistant forms of influenza.
The sudden outbreak of a new coronavirus infection in China at the end of 2019 quickly turned into a worldwide pandemic, and the global pharmaceutical community had to address this challenge to prevent and battle this disease. Since then, scientists around the world have been vigorously searching for vaccines and therapeutic agents to fight SARS-CoV-2. And one of the fastest approaches here is to use the existing drugs for other viral infections to treat the new virus, since most of these drugs have already been tested for safety issues.
In February 2020, favipiravir was successfully tested in a pilot randomized study as a treatment for COVID-19 and obtained approval as an effective antiviral agent against COVID-19 in China. Without having any access to the foreign drug product and API due to the lockdown, the scientists of ChemRar Group decided to use this data to develop and manufacture their own favipiravir-based medicine with the support of RDIF and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia. In April, they managed to create an original favipiravir-based formulation, which was patented and named Avifavir.
Avifavir® became the world’s first approved favipiravir-based drug for COVID-19 infection treatment and the first drug against COVID-19 authorized in Russia. The drug is included in the Essential drug list and is recommended by the guidelines of the Russian Ministry of Health for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
Clinical trials of Avifavir® have proven that the drug can block the viral replication mechanisms, relieve the symptoms and reduce the duration of the disease by half compared to standard therapy. Avifavir is recognized by experts as one of the most effective medicines for COVID-19 treatment in clinical practice.
Since 2007, Rospatent and FIPS have been yearly selecting Russia’s TOP 100 Inventions. During the year, experts from the FIPS industry departments identify the most promising inventions and then add them to the Prospective Inventions database. Then, the Commission for the selection of Russia’s TOP 100 Inventions, consisting of the heads of industry expert departments and led by the Director of FIPS, approves the list of the top inventions for publication and also recommends awarding Rospatent diplomas to the patent holders of the best inventions.
Chromis, a joint venture of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and ChemRar Group, was established in 2020 to develop and market Avifavir, a favipiravir-based drug for COVID-19 treatment. The trials carried out by a number of leading medical and scientific centers proved that the drug is highly effective and safe, so, based on the results of the clinical trials, it was approved in Russia for the treatment of COVID-19 infection. The Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation gave the permanent authorization for Avifavir® on November 6, 2020.