This antiviral drug, studies suggest, could prevent virus carriers from developing severe symptoms and transmitting the disease, as well as containing local outbreaks in a single day.
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The COVID-19 vaccine may spell the end of the pandemic, but while mass vaccination isn’t available, stopping community transmission is important. The new antiviral drug MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 or molnupiravir managed to “completely” suppress the transmission of the coronavirus in just 24 hoursAccording to studies by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.
“This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug that quickly blocks the transmission of SARS-CoV-2so it could change the rules of the game, “the researchers explained in the paper published by the journal Natural microbiology.
The antiviral drug was developed at Emory University in Atlanta, From drug innovation company Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), licensed from Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, a partner of Merck Co. Molnupiravir was originally developed to treat the flu and to prevent the virus from making copies of itself, which leads to errors in the replication of viral RNA.
The experts explain that tests have been carried out on ferrets and that they: a Reducing the amount of virus particles. Then these ferrets were matched with others who had not been treated. None of the ferrets in the second group were infected with COVID-19.
“We believe ferrets are a relevant model of transmission because they easily spread SARS-CoV-2 but for the most part do not develop a serious disease very similar to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in young adults,” he said. Dr. Robert Cox, postdoctoral fellow in the Plemper group and co-lead author of the study.
“We saw that from the start MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 It has a broad spectrum of activity against respiratory RNA viruses, and oral treatment of infected animals with the drug reduces the amount of virus particles, which spread by several orders of magnitude, thereby drastically reducing transmission. These properties made MK-4482 / EIDD / 2801 a strong candidate for pharmacological control of Covid-19, ”the report adds.
A promising antiviral that breaks the chain of transmission:
Therapeutic treatment of animals infected with MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 reduces the burden on the upper respiratory tract from SARS-CoV-2 and completely suppresses the spread in ferrets.https: //t.co/WaMnNk6aao
– José Manuel Bautista (@ 1000genes) 5th December 2020
When this ferret-based data is transferred to humans, Covid-19 patients will be treated with the drug cannot become infectious within 24 hours of starting treatment.
The medicine can be taken orally Treatment can be started early for potential triple benefits: Inhibit patient progression to serious illness, shorten the infection phase to reduce the emotional and socio-economic costs of prolonged patient isolation, and quickly contain local outbreaks.
For now the Molnupiravir is in advanced clinical trials of Phase II / III. In patients with SARS-CoV-2, it is tested in three different doses every 12 hours for five days.
See also: Modern vaccine against Covid-19 guarantees immunity for up to three months, according to a study