JOHANNESBURG – As South Africa and the world grapples with a pandemic of unprecedented proportions, 3Sixty Biopharmaceuticals, a division of 3Sixty Global Solutions Group (3Sixty GSG), announced on Friday that it had secured the distribution rights for Covid-19 drug Avifavir from Chromis LLC.
Chromis is a Russian biopharmaceutical company established jointly by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, and the ChemRar Group.
Khandani Msibi, CEO of 3Sixty GSG said they believed that having additional drug types would significantly enhance treatment options for patients and that this could have positive implications in helping to stem the tide of the pandemic.
“South Africa’s limited hospital infrastructure calls for more treatment options that can limit the need for patient hospitalization. With Avifavir, clinicians can treat many cases on an outpatient basis,” he said.
Msibi said 3Sixty was committed to fighting Covid-19 and had been working with local and international players to develop and/or source products for an effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are finalizing further ground-breaking announcements with a local state research agency over the coming weeks,” he said.
Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the RIDF, said South Africa was the second BRICS state after Brazil to which RDIF and ChemRar had agreed to supply Avifavir.
“Thanks to the agreement with 3Sixty Biopharmaceuticals, doctors in South Africa will obtain an effective tool to treat patients at an early stage, preventing the progression of the disease and risk to the lives of patients,” said Dmitriev.
Andrey Blinow, chief executive of Chromis, said the company was producing sufficient quantities of Avifavir to meet the demand of Russia’s healthcare system.
“This allows us to supply the drug to other countries without compromising domestic demand. South Africa is going through hard times with the coronavirus crisis and we are eager to fulfill the request of our partners for the drug. We hope they will be able to stop the spread of the virus in the country and save many lives,” said Blinow.
3Sixty, a subsidiary of NUMSA Investment Company (NIC), said in a statement that Avifavir was a promising antiviral Faviparavir-based drug developed for the treatment of Covid-19 and recently approved in Russia, India and Brazil. In clinical trials in Russia, Avifavir has demonstrated efficacy and safety with no new or previously unreported side effects.
This announcement follows on the previous announcement that 3Sixty had signed a distribution agreement with Jubilant Generics to bring Remdesivir to Southern Africa, highlighting 3Sixty Biopharma’s major role in the fight against Covid-19 in the country.
3Sixty said the difference between the two drugs was that Remdesivir was currently given to patients intravenously through daily infusions in the hospital. Avifavir allows for easier administration outside the hospital at earlier stages of disease.
“We believe that having additional drug types significantly enhances treatment options for patients and this could have positive implications in helping to stem the tide of the pandemic. South Africa’s limited hospital infrastructure calls for more treatment options that can limit the need for patient hospitalization. With Avifavir, Clinicians can treat many cases on an outpatient basis,” the company said.
3Sixty GSG has been working with a number of local and international players to develop and/or source products for an effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The deals are announced as they mature and when we are ready to execute. “We are finalizing further ground-breaking announcements with a local state research agency over the coming weeks.”
Avifavir disrupts the reproduction mechanisms of the coronavirus, relieving symptoms and halving the treatment period compared to standard therapy. Avifavir is not yet approved for registration in South Africa but will be made available on a compassionate basis.