THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: In trials of oral covid treatment, with drug administered orally against Covid-19, German pharmaceutical giant Merck and a US partner reported that it yields promising results, saying it helps reduce patients’ viral load.
Wendy Painter, chief medical officer of the US firm said “At a time where there is unmet need for antiviral treatments against SARS-CoV-2, we are encouraged by these preliminary data.”
In January, Merck advanced on with research into two products to treat the disease in spite of his discontinued work on two Covid vaccine candidates. The two products includes a pill-based one called molnupiravir, which it has developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
Merck said at a meeting with infectious disease experts that after five days of treatment with it, this drug caused a significant drop in patients’ viral load.
This Phase 2a test -drug trials have three stages before a product can be approved – was carried out among 202 non-hospitalized people with symptoms of Covid-19. There was no alert in terms of safety, and of four serious adverse events that were reported, none were considered to be related to taking this drug, Ridgeback said.
Although researchers have yet to come up with something similar to fight the coronavirus, however Anti-viral oral drugs such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are sometimes prescribed for seasonal flu.
William Fischer, lead investigator of the study and a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina said “The findings of this study showed a quicker decrease in viral load among individuals with early-stage Covid-19 who are treated with molnupiravir are promising.”
Fischer added, “As the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to spread and evolve globally, if supported by additional studies, it could have important public health implications.” Meanwhile, Merck is also working on another oral Covid treatment called MK-711.
In January, the company said “More than 50 percent reduction in risk of death or respiratory trouble in patients hospitalized with moderate to severe Covid-19, as showed by the preliminary results from clinical trials.”