Merck will seek approval for the drug as soon as feasible in the United States
Merck, an American pharmaceutical company, has unveiled a new medicine that could cut hospitalizations in half and minimise the risk of death in people who are most at risk of getting Covid-19. Based on an interim analysis of Phase-3 trial data, the company issued this comment in a press release on October 1st. Molnupiravir is an investigational oral antiviral medication that should be taken by patients as soon as symptoms appear. According to data from the Phase-3 trial, 14% of people in the placebo arm were hospitalised or died from the infection, but just 7.3 percent of those who received the medicine had the same outcome.
After 29 days, no deaths were observed in the drug-treated arm, whereas eight deaths were recorded in the placebo-treated arm. The medicine works by inserting mistakes into the virus’s RNA, which prevents it from replicating. For five days, you’ll take four capsules twice a day. It “significantly lowered the chance of hospitalisation or death” once used, according to Merck. Based on these findings, the business is attempting to obtain emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration as quickly as feasible.
However, it isn’t the only pharmaceutical company working on a similar product. Pfizer and Roche are also collaborating on an antiviral treatment for Covid. The results of their trial, however, are unlikely to be published for several months. Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics recruited 775 unvaccinated people to investigate the efficacy of Molnupiravir. The Phase 3 trial was supposed to enrol 1,550 patients, but an independent data monitoring committee cancelled further enrollment due to the interim analyses’ “compelling results.” All patients had to have PCR-confirmed Covid cases as well as “at least one risk factor linked with poor disease outcome,” such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or being over 60 years old. Participants began treatment within five days of receiving a positive test result.