#GS3 #Science&Technology #PrelimsFacts
- According to Merck Pharmaceuticals and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics the early results from Phase 3 trials of its anti-viral drug molnupiravir halved the chances of hospitalisation in COVID-19 patients with mild or moderate disease.
- Placebo trials were carried out which involve testing a drug on thousands of people, in which some of them get the drug and some — who are in a placebo group — do not.
- In the placebo arm, 53 patients (14%) were either hospitalised or had died, whereas in the group that got the drug, 28 (7.3%) were hospitalised or died of the infection. No deaths were reported in patients who received molnupiravir, compared with eight deaths in those who received the placebo.
- Although the hospitalisation-avoidance rates are reassuring, there is still much that is unknown about molnupiravir. Complete Phase 3 trial data is pending,
- Molnupiravir, also termed as ‘EIDD 2801’.
- Antiviral drugs, including the much-in-demand remdesivir, work by inhibiting the process by which the virus replicates.
- It is orally active and was developed for the treatment of influenza.
- It is a drug of the synthetic nucleoside derivative N4-hydroxycytidine. It exerts its antiviral action through introduction of copying errors during viral RNA replication.
- This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug to rapidly block SARS-CoV-2 transmission and it has the potential to be a game-changer.
- Molnupiravir, when tested on cultured cells, it works by altering critical enzymes that are necessary for the virus to begin replicating in the body’s host cells.