“Molnupiravir”: The antiviral drug blocks Covid-19 within 24 hours

MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 is in advanced phase II / III clinical trials against SARS-CoV-2 infection, authors wrote

Covid drug

New York: Researchers have found that treating SARS-CoV-2 infection (Covid-19) with a new antiviral agent, MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 or Molnupiravir, completely suppresses virus transmission within 24 hours.

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According to the study, published in the journal Nature Microbiology, the Georgia State University (GSU) research team originally found the drug to be powerful against influenza viruses.

“This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug to rapidly block SARS-CoV-2 transmission. MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 could be game-changing,” said GSU study author Richard Plemper.

Because the drug can be taken by mouth, treatment can be started early for a potential threefold benefit: inhibiting the patient’s progression to severe disease, shortening the infectious phase to reduce the emotional and socioeconomic toll of the patient’s long-term isolation. relieve and quickly silence local outbreaks.

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“We noted early on that MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 has a broad spectrum of activity against respiratory RNA viruses and that treating infected animals by mouth with the drug reduces the amount of viral particles shed by several orders of magnitude, drastically reducing transfer. ” said Plemper.

“These properties made MK-4482 / EIDD / 2801 a potent candidate for pharmacological control of Covid-19,” added Plemper.

In the study, the research team used MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 against SARS-CoV-2 and used a ferret model to test the drug’s effect on stopping virus spread.

The team believes that ferrets are a relevant transmission model because they spread SARS-CoV-2 readily, but do not usually develop serious disease, which is very similar to SARS-CoV-2 spread in young adults.

The researchers infected ferrets with SARS-CoV-2 and started treatment with MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 when the animals started shedding virus from their noses.

“When we maintained the infected animals together and treated the source animals with untreated contact ferrets in the same cage, none of the contacts became infected,” said study co-author Josef Wolf.

If these ferret-based data translate to humans, Covid-19 patients treated with the drug could become non-infectious within 24 hours of starting treatment.

“MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 is in advanced phase II / III clinical trials against SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the authors wrote.

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