Currently, several countries around the world have already started to vaccinate people to safeguard the population from Coronavirus-caused disease. But apart from the vaccine, there is a new possible medication that could also help to end the pandemic.
As reported, the first stage testing of the experimental drug—Molnupiravir—developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, has shown promising signs of effectiveness in terms of reducing the novel virus in affected patients.
Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel who talked about the experimental pill during the show called "Fox & Friends Weekend", on Sunday, March 7 said: "It may be the holy grail on this because it was just studied in phase two trials and it literally stopped the virus in its tracks. And there wasn't any virus found in the patients that were studied."
The Experimental Drug
This drug is similar to Tamiflu (Oseltamivir), which is used to treat symptoms caused by the flu virus. Molnupiravir would function as an at-home, five-day treatment that could help to stop the novel Coronavirus from reproducing before causing major damage to the body. According to Siegel, the therapeutic could come to market in as little as four to five months.
However, the first stage study included only 182 COVID-19 patients. But the doctor said despite the low number of participants in the testing, the drug could still be "very promising" for thousands of people. However, thousands of people need to be enrolled for a larger study to get a clear picture of the efficacy of the drug, said the healthcare expert.
Siegel said that the treatment might be the future once the COVID-19 vaccine gets control over the pandemic and only isolated cases will appear. "By then, this drug might be ready and this might be the drug for over the next several months," he added.
He also predicted that the US—which reported nearly 30,000,000 cases and more than 525,000 deaths—will be Coronavirus-free by the summer and at that moment, Molnupiravir would be very helpful for managing isolated cases.
"This is the very first pill that we have that's something that we might be able to use in our armamentarium against COVID-19 as a therapeutic," Siegel said.
Earlier, a separate study was conducted by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of Georgia State University to understand the effectiveness of the same drug.
At that time, researchers found that Molnupiravir which is also known as MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 can suppress "completely" the transmission of the Coronavirus infection in just 24 hours.
"This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug that quickly blocks the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, so it could be a game-changer," said the researchers.