Drugmaker Merck & Co.’s experimental oral COVID-19 antiviral drug is effective against all known types of the virus, the company said on Wednesday.
Merck said laboratory studies have shown that mollupiravir is effective against all strains of the coronavirus, including the dominant delta variant. But it also states that the drug is most effective when given early in the course of the infection.
“Since mollupiravir does not target the virus’s spike protein — the target of all current COVID-19 vaccines, which define the differences between variants — the drug should be equally effective as the virus continues to evolve,” says J. Grobler. Said, Infectious Diseases and Vaccines at major Merck.
The company said that molnupiravir targets viral polymerase, an enzyme needed for the virus to make copies of itself. It is designed to work by introducing errors into the virus’s genetic code, Merck said.
Merck tested its antiviral drug against nasal swab samples taken from patients who were in the early stages of drug testing.
The latest data analysis was presented during Infectious Disease Week, the annual meeting of all infectious disease organizations in the US.
Merck said earlier this year that a small, mid-stage trial found that after five days of mollupiravir treatment, none of the patients taking various doses of the drug tested positive for the virus, Whereas 24 percent of placebo patients had detectable levels. Virus.
Merck is currently conducting two phase III trials of antivirals to be developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics – one to treat COVID-19 and the other to prevent it.
The trial enrolled non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients who did not have symptoms for more than five days and were at risk for serious illness. The Phase III treatment study is expected to end in early November, Mr Grobler said.
Virologist Timothy Sheehan of the University of North Carolina-Chapel said, “Oral antivirals have the potential to not only shorten the duration of someone’s COVID-19 syndrome, but also to limit transmission when people in your household become ill. Happens too.” hill, pointed NBC News.
Karl Diefenbach, director of the AIDS division at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at least three “promising” antivirals were currently being tested for COVID-19, and results are expected in the winter. One is Merck’s molnupiravir, while two others are manufactured by Roche and Aetia Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer, he said.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /