An infectious diseases specialist says Iranian companies have the ability and are ready to produce the Japanese drug Favipiravir, also known as Avigan, which is said to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19.
Dr Masoud Mardani, who is a member of National Committee for Coronavirus Fight, said if the results of clinical trials in the treatment of hospitalised patients are positive, Iranian companies can produce this drug on a large scale.
The price of the Iranian version of the drug will be much lower than foreign ones, and the patients with corona can easily use them, he said.
China has donated a limited number of Avigan to Iran, which has been given to researchers for further studies.
“Fortunately, the initial results of this research project were satisfactory, and we are waiting for the final result of the clinical trial of this drug.”
About three months ago, the Chinese used the drug to improve patients with COVID-19, and their studies have shown that it can be effective in treating the disease.
Favipiravir is an antiviral drug developed by the Japanese for influenza. About 2 years ago, it was discovered that it is also useful in treating Crimean Congo fever, stressed Mardani.
COVID-19 has no vaccine at the moment, he said. “There was no treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, but last week, for the first time, the FDA approved a type of chloroquine for COVID-19.”
Chloroquine is an anti-malarial drug, and has long been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. By reducing inflammatory reactions, this drug can improve patients with the corona disease, underlined Mardani.
It has been earlier used in Iran and China, and has had good results in treating patients with mild to moderate corona disease.
“To cure COVID-19, there are some antiviral drugs including anti-AIDS medicine. We use this drug for coronavirus patients and they can improve the patients to some extent,” he concluded.