A promising oral antiviral drug from Merck and Ridgeback Therapeutics Inc. could change the direction of a pandemic by making it easier for people with COVID-19 to take tablets at home.
Shares rose 9.1% in a Friday transaction after the drug molnupiravir announced in a phase 3 clinical trial that it reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 50%. (Ridgeback is private.)
The drug, which inhibits viral replication, has been tested in 775 “risk” adults with mild or moderate cases of COVID-19. None of the people taking the drug died in the trial. Eight deaths were reported among those taking placebo.
The sequence also appeared to work for gamma, delta, and mu variants in about 40% of the participants available.
“This is a huge problem,” said Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, in an email. “If it’s safe and cheap (even if it’s available for free) as an easy-to-take pill, it will reduce serious illness for both unvaccinated and breakthrough vaccinated people. Has great benefits. “
Twitter Topol has already mentioned Molnupiravir as “M pack” Play with commonly prescribed Z-Pack antibiotics.
USA has already ordered 1.7 million treatment courses Molnupiravir for a price of about $ 705 per 5-day treatment course.
However, there are still some caveats. So far, the two companies have shared clinical data only in news releases, not in preprints or medical studies. It is also unknown if any of the participants in the study were vaccinated, and if so, some. (Topol said that knowing this would not “damage its potential importance.”)
New COVID-19 treatment case
The COVID-19 vaccine is by far the best treatment tool in the pandemic arsenal. Although these breakthrough infections are on the rise, they are not only very effective in preventing people from going to the hospital or dying, but in most cases people have COVID-19. Prevents even mild cases.
I have A handful of treatments that can help COVID-19 patients They are at high risk of developing severe cases or are already hospitalized, but they are all given by injection in the medical setting.
Veklury and the steroid dexamethasone reused as a COVID-19 drug are reserved for critically ill inpatients
We were unlucky when it came to treating mild to moderate COVID-19 among the general public. There are no tablets like Tamiflu Being able to take the patient home.
“Availability of effective oral medications that can be administered outpatiently may reduce the risks associated with breakthrough infections and reduce unvaccinated mortality, starting to move the country from a pandemic and reopening. It could be hastened, “RBC Capital Markets Analyst Brian Abrahams told investors Friday.
Approval or approval of molnupiravir and other clinical trial antivirals could change the direction of the pandemic, making the virus habitable and one step closer to reducing fear.
According to the FactSet transcript of the presentation, Merck CEO Robert Davis said at the Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Conference on September 13, “The fact that this is more prevalent from the pandemic really needs antivirus. “.
Other COVID-19 antivirals under development
With a $ 3 billion investment in the development of COVID-19 antivirals by the National Institutes of Health in June, there are six oral antivirals currently under development.
Pfizer Japan Inc
It is already a pandemic favorite in the role of developing Comirnaty, the first approved and approved COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, and clinical data of antiviral drugs under investigation are expected to be in the late stages by the end of the year. ..
“I think verbal is an important part of the pandemic solution,” Pfizer Chief Financial Officer Frank Damerio said at the Morgan Stanley meeting on September 14. “Before the patient is hospitalized for critical care, a 5-day course of treatment can be prescribed with the first signs of infection.”
Both Pfizer and Merck are testing antiviral drugs for post-exposure prophylaxis with COVID-19. In such cases, if someone is exposed to another person who tests positive for the virus, you can take prophylactic medication to prevent COVID-19 infection.
Several other small pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology, including Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp, are also testing antiviral drugs as a treatment for COVID-19.
Atea Pharmaceuticals Inc.
And Red Hill Biopharma Ltd.
Gilead is also studying Veklury as a treatment for high-risk COVID-19 patients who are not hospitalized.
Merck said Friday that he would soon submit the data for an emergency permit.
Merck’s share price is declining 3.7% annually, but the broader S & P 500
It has increased by 14.7%.
Why tablets taken at home can change the direction of a pandemic
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7B20C05575-04D4-B545-7688-A9289A9D2B0F%7D&siteid=rss&rss=1 Why tablets taken at home can change the direction of a pandemic