The results seem to be good enough for Merck to go ahead and ask for emergency approval….
Like the vaccine….
It does not stop the virus…
But has shown to cut serious reactions and deaths from the virus….
It WILL help spread inoculations ….
Several other companies also have anti-virus pills in the works….
Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said in a news release they would apply for emergency use authorization for the drug, molnupiravir, in the United States as soon as possible. It would be the first antiviral pill for covid-19.
Monoclonal antibodies, treatments that have kept people out of the hospital, are expensive, tricky to manufacture and cumbersome to administer, requiring infusions or injections. Vaccines have been remarkably effective, but access is limited in much of the world….
Merck has already begun producing molnupiravir. The small brown capsules must be taken twice a day for five days. The company predicts it will make 10 million courses of treatment by the end of the year. The U.S. government made an advance purchase of 1.7 million treatment courses of the drug at a cost of $1.2 billion….
Laboratory and animal experiments suggest the pill may be effective against known variants, including delta. Unlike vaccines or antibodies that target specific proteins on the surface of the virus, molnupiravir works by introducing genetic errors that garble the coronavirus’s genetic code. That means it may be more resistant to mutation, and may even work on other coronaviruses or RNA viruses….
Pfizer is also developing an oral antiviral drug, and announced this week it was initiating a later-stage clinical trial testing the drug’s ability to prevent illness in people exposed to the coronavirus. Atea Pharmaceuticals is also working on an oral antiviral with pharmaceutical giant Roche….