A U.S. drug-maker Merck has announced the results of its experimental drug and the results are impressive.
The experiment from the clinical trial of the Covid-19 wonder drug is said to cut the risk of hospitalisation or death by half.
The oral pill, originally used to treat influenza, was redesigned to introduce errors into the genetic code of the Covid-19 virus, preventing it from spreading in the body. The drug, named Molnupiravir was given twice a day to patients recently diagnosed with Covid-19.
All the Covid vaccines currently being used around the world are administered via an injection jab and were programmed to attack the spike protein on the outside of the virus, but Molnupiravir works by targeting an enzyme the virus uses to make copies of itself.
The Trial analysis was conducted with 775 patients and the results were as follows:
Only 7.3% of those given molnupiravir were hospitalised. While 14.1% of patients who were given a placebo or dummy pill were hospitalised
Zero deaths were recorded in the molnupiravir group, but eight patients who were given a placebo in the trial later died of Covid-19
Other results from the trial showed that for molnupiravir to work effectively it must be taken early after symptoms develop. Patients who had already been hospitalised were given the drug but the results were not encouraging, therefore trial on hospitalised patients were discontinued.
The vice-president of infectious disease discovery at Merck, Daria Hazuda, commented saying:
“An antiviral treatment for people who are not vaccinated, or who are less responsive to immunity from vaccines, is a very important tool in helping to end this pandemic.”
If authorised by U.S. regulators, molnupiravir would be the first Covid-19 oral antiviral medication. Other countries like the United Kingdom will be next in line to approve the drug molnupiravir