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Covid-19 pills are promising in preliminary trials

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The Covid-19 drug, which is promised to be a type of pandemic, Tamiflu, has had positive results in preliminary studies, one of the drug developers said.

Pills that have been With Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP

Merck

MRK 1.33%

& Co. Significantly reduced the subject’s infectious disease virus in an intermediate study after 5 days of treatment. Ridgeback reports at a virtual conference of infectious disease scientists on Saturday.

Further research on antivirals is underway. If proven to be able to treat symptomatic Covid-19 people, the drug will strengthen its limited therapeutic weapons and become the first oral antiviral drug for the disease.

Understand the coronavirus

More than a year after the pandemic occurred, doctors and Covid-19 patients have few options. Only one antiviral drug is allowed to be used. Remdesivir from

Gilead Sciences Co., Ltd.

, And it has been shown to provide inpatients with little benefit and reduce their stay by a few days.

An drug named molnupiravir can play an important role by helping people who are ill but still at home and play the same kind of role that is performed by Tamiflu for the flu, Says some infectious disease experts.

“It’s intriguing and interesting, but not completely complete,” said Karl Diffenbach, head of the AIDS division at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “What we need to make sure is that there is a clinical benefit.”

Drug researchers are pushing to find new Covid-19 drugs to improve the performance of some of the currently available therapies and fill the gap in offerings.They are also looking for effective treatments Against new coronavirus mutants It is spreading rapidly.

“The obvious need in this is the development of a powerful antiviral agent that acts directly on SARS-CoV-2,” said Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID and chief medical adviser to President Biden, causing a pandemic. Mentioned the virus and mentioned a recent white house briefing.

Unlike other drugs that target peplomers protruding from the surface of the virus, molnupiravir attacks some of the viruses that help the virus propagate.

In an intermediate or Phase 2 study of 182 subjects, different doses were given to those who developed Covid-19 symptoms the previous week and were positive for the disease in the last 4 days or not. I investigated the effect of Molnupiravir. Hospitalized.

No infectious virus was detected in the test in any of the study volunteers who took molnupiravir twice daily after 5 days of treatment, but 24% of subjects who received placebo did, says Ridgeback. Reported at a virtual conference on retroviruses and opportunistic infections.

Subjects who took high doses of the drug had lower levels of infectious virus than the placebo group after 3 days.

Wayne Holman, co-founder of Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, showed that the results prevent the drug from replicating new coronaviruses in the body and provide first evidence that oral antiviral drugs are effective against the virus. Said that.

The findings also suggest that the drug can reduce the disease, but have not proven it, said Dr. Holman, CEO of investment firm Ridgeback Capital. Ridgeback Biotherapeutics is approved for the treatment of Ebola.

Merck said interim results could be available by the end of this month in two late-stage trials investigating whether molnupiravir helps prevent hospitalization and death in Covid-19.

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