Russia readies to test direct-acting drug against COVID-19 in humans

The first phase of the clinical trials of Mir-19, a Russian direct-acting drug for coronavirus is to be completed by the middle of March of 2021. The second stage with the participation fo volunteers will begin afterwards, Veronika Skvortsova, the head of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency (FMBA) said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, TASS reports.

According to her, on December 30, the organization received permission to run the clinical trials, which began after the New Year.

"Taking into account the fact that this is a new molecule - it is new and patented and has no analogues - we go through the first phase very carefully, since we need to prove safety already in humans," Skvortsova said.

The drug is based on the use of microRNAs that block certain sites of the RNA virus. The head of FMBA assured that microRNAs are absolutely safe for humans. They do not affect the human genome and immunity, she added. At the same time, they effectively attack the infection and prevent complications, including pneumonitis and acute respiratory distress syndromes.

Earlier, Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko said that Russian scientists developed several new medicines against coronavirus, which block the multiplication of the virus. The medicines were undergoing clinical trials, the minister also said.