Health

Merck says molnupiravir is effective against Omicron


Merck pharmaceutical company on January 28 said that the antiviral drug molnupiravir is effective in treating people infected with the Omicron variant.

In clinical studies, scientists evaluated the activity of molnupiravir and other antiviral drugs. The results showed that the drug has “antiviral activity against Omicron”, which helps to expand the arsenal against Covid-19. The above information was released by Merk after aggregating the results of 6 independent studies taking place in the US and 5 European countries (Belgium, Germany, Czech, Poland, Netherlands).

The drug, which has been approved by the UK and US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients at risk of severe disease, is 30% effective in preventing hospitalization or death. Molnupiravir has a mutagenic mechanism that disrupts RNA replication, resulting in inhibition of viral replication.

“This is an important treatment option for adults with mild to moderate Covid-19 who are at high risk for severe progression,” said Dean Li, president of Merck Research Laboratories.

The anti-Covid-19 drug molnupiravir, developed by two companies Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, was announced on September 17. Photo: Reuters

The European Medicines Agency is still reviewing molnupiravir. Meanwhile, the UK said people with weakened immune systems can use Pfizer’s Paxlovid from February 10. Paxlovid was more effective than molnupiravir, reducing the risk of hospitalization or death by 88% in people at high risk of nCoV infection.

In Vietnam, molnupiravir is being used in Controlled treatment pilot program for mild cases of Covid-19, distribution area, not sold on the market. As of January 20, the Ministry of Health has allocated a total of more than 400,000 doses of molnupiravir to this program. The program has been implemented in Ho Chi Minh City since mid-August and is currently expanding to 53 epidemic-affected localities.

The results of the molnupiravir trial in Vietnam showed that nearly 100% of patients taking the drug had a low viral load, a very low rate of severe disease, and no deaths. The Advisory Council for the issuance of a drug registration certificate of the Ministry of Health recently recommended that molnupiravir should not be used by pregnant women, under 18 years of age, it will affect the bones and affect sperm in men.

Thuc Linh (Follow Reuters)

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