As the world awaits vaccines, new hope is emerging in the fight against Covid-19 in the form of the drug under investigation, molnupiravir. When administered orally, this would block virus transmission in 24 to 36 hours. What to refute a pandemic?
If the vaccine represents the most concrete hope in the fight against coronavirus, the University of Georgia (USA) announced this Thursday, December 3, that it has made progress in the development of a drug administered orally or intravenously.
In an article published in the online journal Nature, researchers at Emory University suggest that the antiviral drug MK-2282 / EIDD-2081 (its trade name molnupiravir) represents a major breakthrough sincesuppresses disease transmission in less than 24 hours.
“This is the first example of a drug available orally capable of rapidly blocking the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the rules of the game of which could be reversed,” the researchers explain in their findings.
Patients with Covid-19 could become non-infectious within 24-36 hours
To date, the drug has been “tested on ferrets that transmit the virus effectively with minimal clinical signs resembling the spread in the young adult population.”
The researchers admit that the “antiviral effect” of molnupiravir “in humans is still unknown”. However, they suggest that “if data from SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the ferret predict an effect in humans, patients with Covid-19 could be non-infectious within 24 to 36 hours of initiating oral therapy.”
Soon after infection, molnupiravir would have three benefits: “reduce the risk of progression to serious illness and accelerate recovery, avoid isolation and confinement, and finally block clumps very quickly.” In short, a serious contribution to ending the epidemic.
Human testing has already begun and is currently in phase II. No study has yet been published on these first tests.
The study, published this Thursday, will be analyzed by the scientific world before publication. The release of this experimental drug has not yet been planned.
Until then, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck, the laboratories associated with the project, will have to dispel doubts arising from previous versions of molnupiravir that have mutagenic properties that produce birth defects.