Molnupiravir 

#GS3 #Science&Technology #PrelimsFacts

Context

  • 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 

  • 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.

 

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