Merck’s COVID-19 Antiviral Drug Cuts Hospitalizations and Deaths by Half


Vaccines will be the only way to survive the pandemic, but not everyone in the world has been inoculated, and the shots aren’t 100 percent successful in protecting individuals from the COVID-19 virus.

Antiviral medication therapies will be crucial in ensuring that those who do become infected do not become very ill.

Merck released positive findings from a study of molnupiravir, a COVID-19 antiviral medication. The business said in an early analysis of data from a Phase 3 research that the medicine reduced the likelihood of hospitalization or death in those taking the tablets by 50% compared to those who did not take the pills after developing mild to moderate depression. COVID-19. 7.3 percent of those who received molnupiravir were hospitalized or died twenty-nine days after receiving the medicine or placebo, compared to 14.1 percent of those who received placebo.

The medicine is the first COVID-19 oral antiviral, and it is intended for those who develop COVID-19 symptoms but are not severe enough to require hospitalization. Remdesivir, the first drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat COVID-19, is only for COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized and must be given intravenously. The three other antiviral medications with emergency use authorization (EUA) are likewise administered intravenously.

Merck is terminating the trial early due to the very favorable results, as the medicine clearly benefits patients. Merck will shortly file an application to the FDA and other regulatory agencies around the world for an EUA of the medicine.

The study included 775 participants from around the world who were given either the drug or a placebo twice a day for five days. Molnupiravir works by preventing SARS-CoV-2 from replicating its genetic material, which it requires to infect additional cells. Early preclinical and human trials demonstrated that the treatment is effective against diverse variations of the virus because it presumably targets basic mechanisms that the virus relies on to replicate, rather than portions that evolve to form new variants.

Merck has already been producing molnupiravir, according to a press release, in the hopes that the Phase 3 study will show it is both safe and effective. The business has previously promised to offer the US government with 1.7 million doses of molnupiravir, pending FDA approval. If the medicine is approved in the United States, Merck has engaged into licensing arrangements with generic manufacturers to produce it in more than 100 low- and middle-income nations.

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