US drugmaker Merck & Co said Saturday (March 6) that the experimental antiviral drug Molnupivir, developed with Ridgeback Bio, had a faster quick drop in the virus in a phase 2a study in participants with the initial Covid-19 virus.
“The secondary objective findings in this study, of a quick drop in virus among individuals with early COVID-19 treated with molnupiravir, are promising,” said Associate Professor William Fisher of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in a statement from Companies.
The antiviral drug is currently being tested in the 2/3 phase, which is expected to expire in May. Merck decided to focus on therapy after two Covid-19 vaccines failed to produce the desired immune response. Prompting it to leave the program in January.
The antiviral drug Molnupiravir blocks the Covid-19 virus within 24 hours
The researchers found that considering SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) infection with a new antiviral drug, MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 or molnupiravir, completely blocked viral transmission within 24 hours.
The Georgia State University (GSU) research team first found that the drug was effective against the influenza virus.
“This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug that rapidly blocks SARS-CoV-2 transmission. MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 can be game-changing,” said study author Richard Plemper of GSU.
Who is Merck & Co.
Merck & Co. outside the United States and Canada is an American multinational pharmaceutical company. Moreover, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Merck is registered in New Jersey.
Medically important vaccines developed at Merck include the first mumps vaccine, the first rubella vaccine. Also, the first measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine developed by Merck scientist Maurice Hilleman.
The incidence of rubella-related birth defects has fallen from 10,000 per year in the United States to zero. Since the rubella vaccine was developed. Hilleman also developed the first hepatitis B vaccine and the first chickenpox vaccine.