Russia's Federal Biomedical Agency on Saturday said it has developed a drug for the treatment of COVID-19.
The agency said its drug was based on mefloquine, which is used to prevent or treat malaria.
The drug will allegedly provide effective treatment for COVID-19 patients with varying severity.
According to the agency's statement, the drug prevents virus replication in cells and as a result, stops the inflammatory process caused by the virus.
Veronika Skvortsova, the agency’s head, said Mefloquine has to be combined with antibiotics for the maximum effect, allowing an increase in the concentration of antiviral agents in blood plasma and lungs.
"This will ensure effective treatment of patients with various degrees of coronavirus infection," Skvortsova said.
The agency said it was developing an effective and safe scheme for the prevention of coronavirus on the basis of mefloquine.
The treatment was developed taking Chinese and French experience into account, it added.
COVID-19 treatment, for now, focuses on relieving symptoms such as breathing assistance.
Companies around the world are racing to develop vaccines. A few have launched early safety testing in humans, but experts say it could take a year or more to develop and test a vaccine.