This antiviral drug could eliminate COVID-19 by day 3 of treatment

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Scientists found that people taking the new anti-COVID drug molnupiravir eliminate SARS-CoV-2 virus by day three of starting therapy, while many participants who received placebo took up to five days and in some cases longer to achieve this.

The research is published in NEJM and was conducted by Dr. Julie Strizki et al. from the pharmaceutical company MSD.

Molnupiravir is an oral antiviral prodrug with broad activity against coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and its variants of concern.

The study confirmed the superiority of molnupiravir over placebo in non-hospitalized adults with mild/moderate COVID-19 at risk of progression to severe disease, provided they started therapy within five days of symptom onset.

The drug has been granted an emergency use authorisation by the by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is also authorized for use in the UK, Australia, and Japan and 12 other jurisdictions.

In the study, PCR testing was used to determine SARS-CoV-2 RNA viral loads.

The team demonstrated that on day three of treatment, infectious SARS-CoV-2 was detected in zero of 92 of participants with infectious virus at baseline who received molnupiravir.

At Day 5, virus was detected in 0.0% in the molnupiravir group compared with 2.2% in the placebo group.

The findings showed that a 5-day treatment course of twice-daily 800 mg molnupiravir results in a more rapid decline in viral RNA and faster elimination of infectious virus.

This study provides additional evidence that molnupiravir helps those infected clear SARS-CoV-2 faster than placebo, and that molnupiravir can lower the risk of progression to serious illness.

Molnupiravir is now in the process of being submitted to global regulatory authorities for emergency use authorization or approval in other countries and jurisdictions, such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and is being studied in a Phase three trial.

Sign up for our newsletter for more information about this topic.

If you care about COVID, please read studies that two doses of COVID-19 vaccine may protect against long COVID, and brain shortcuts may explain why many people are against COVID vaccine and masks.

For more information about COVID, please see recent studies that almost 1 in 3 older people develop new health problems after COVID-19 infection, and results showing you need three COVID-19 exposures to get a broad immunity for omicron.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.