In addition to the many positive vaccine reports in the past few days, researchers in the US are now encouraging us with another positive corona news: they claim to have developed a drug that prevents the transmission of the virus. That would be a real breakthrough!
Scientists at Georgia State University in Atlanta, USA, are apparently pursuing a big goal: According to the Italian news agency Ansa in the journal “Nature Microbiology”, they have developed an antiviral agent that could interrupt the transmission of the coronavirus. The special thing: the active ingredient can be taken orally.
Corona: Molnupiravir could prevent virus transmission
The agent, which has so far only been tested on ferrets, suppresses the reproduction of the virus in the body within 24 hours. So it cannot spread through the body.
According to the scientists, the data can also be transferred to humans – the first studies with volunteers are already underway. That would mean that corona infected people are no longer contagious within 24 hours after taking their drug molnupiravir.
According to the researchers, this could have a multiple effect: it could prevent a serious disease course in infected people, drastically shorten the infectivity stage, quickly control local epidemics and reduce the emotional and socio-economic consequences of quarantine.
You may also be interested in: Up to 40 percent affected! Italian researchers report a new corona symptom
It is “the first orally available drug that can rapidly block the transmission of Sars-CoV-2,” said Richard Plemper, one of the scientists involved in the study. Molnupiravir could “change the game”.
This is how the researchers tested the drug
But how exactly does that work? The researchers matched several ferrets suffering from Covid-19 with healthy congeners. Some of the sick animals received molnupiravir, the others a placebo.
Subsequent tests showed that the molnupiravir-treated ferrets did not transmit the disease, but that the untreated animals infect others with the virus.
Molnupiravir was already used on a trial basis during the corona pandemic
The drug, said to work in a similar way to Remdesivir, was originally developed to treat flu diseases. However, as early as April 2020, a study found that molnupiravir can prevent and reduce severe lung damage in corona-infected mice.
The product from the manufacturer Ridgeback Biotherapeutics is currently in phase II / III clinical studies. It will likely take until the middle of next year before all the necessary hurdles for approval are over and can be used.