A biochemist who helped to create Russia‘s deadly Novichok nerve agent has invented a new drug to tackle Covid-19.
Dr Leonid Rink was involved in the secret Soviet development of the chemical warfare agent allegedly used by Russian intelligence to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury in 2012, and Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny in Siberia last year.
The new coronavirus drug, called Immofon, is based on a USSR medicine used against leprosy. It has been developed from the antibiotic Dapsone and is designed to activate tissue metabolism and to stimulate the regeneration process of cells.
‘It works against viral diseases,’ said the 74-year-old scientist, whose project has featured positively in Russian state-owned media.
Dr Leonid Rink, who was one of the brain’s behind the development of the Novichok nerve agent, has developed a new coronavirus drug which activates tissue metabolism and simulates regeneration in infected patients
‘It eliminates the cytokine storm, which, according to many experts, is one of the causes of death from COVID- 19.’
The cytokine storm is a deranged immune-system response to the virus, which many experts believe is behind the most severe cases of Covid-19.
He claimed the drugs have been tested on around 700 elderly volunteers, and that ‘there was not a single severe stage and not a single death after infection’.
However, details of these tests and their timing remain scant.
The biochemist said his company, InterVita, is manufacturing pilot batches of the Immofon to test its effectiveness against various illnesses, including Covid-19, and that negotiations are underway with the Russian Health Ministry.
In addition to fighting coronavirus, the new drug is intended to treat autoimmune illnesses, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, allergies, leukemia and lung diseases.
He claimed ‘a large number of investors’ are backing the scheme, with one dose due to cost £9.70.
Dr Rink was previously a researcher at the sinister top secret State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry & Technology at Shikhany, 530 miles southeast of Moscow.
Dr Rink worked as a biochemist at the top-secret Soviet State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry & Technology (pictured), based in Shikhany, a town southeast of Moscow. There he, and others, developed the Novichok nerve agent which was used on the Skripals in Salisbury in 2012, and Putin foe Alexei Navalny in Siberia last year
A key member of the team that created Novichok, he has compared it to a nuclear bomb.
Last year he claimed the symptoms shown by Putin foe Navalny did not match Novichok poisoning despite the West insisting that the agent had been used on the opposition leader.
‘Absolute nonsense,’ he said. ‘Forget about Novichok.’
In 1995, banking magnate Ivan Kiveldi and his secretary died from organ failure after a military grade poison was found on the telephone receiver of his Moscow office.
Dr Rink later admitted supplying the toxin, via several intermediaries, to Kiveldi’s business partner.
He received a one-year suspended sentence for supplying Novichok agents to unnamed buyers ‘of Chechen ethnicity’.