Antispasmodic “Active” Against Omicron: Merck

Anti-Covid Pill 'Active' Against Omicron: Merck

Eight molnupiravir tablets were taken for five days, for a total of 40 tablets.


The US drugmaker said on Friday, citing results from six laboratory studies, that Merck’s anti-Covid drug remained “active” against the Omicron variant.

The oral treatment, called molnupiravir, is given within five days of symptom onset and has been shown in a pre-Omicron trial with 1,400 participants to reduce the number of people having symptoms by 30%. risk of hospitalization and death from Covid.

The latest in vitro studies, based on cell-based assays, were conducted independently by researchers in six countries: Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, the Netherlands and the United States of America. .

The results showed that “molnupiravir has consistent antiviral activity against Omicron, the primary variant circulating globally,” Dr Dean Y Li, president of Merck Research Laboratories, said in a statement. .

The findings “provide further confidence in the potential of molnupiravir as an important treatment option for certain adults with mild to moderate Covid-19 who are at high risk of developing severe disease.” , he said.

Merck, known as MSD outside of the US and Canada, said the effectiveness of molnupiravir against Omicron has yet to be evaluated in clinical trials.

The treatment, sometimes marketed under the name Lagevrio, has been approved in more than 10 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.

Washington paid $2.2 billion for 3.1 million treatments to Merck, of which two million were delivered, according to the company.

A total of 10 million courses have been produced in 2021, and Merck plans to produce 20 million more this year.

Eight molnupiravir tablets were taken for five days, for a total of 40 tablets.

Pfizer has also developed an anti-Covid drug, marketed as Paxlovid. Pfizer’s pill reduced the results by nearly 90%, similar to Merck’s, is approved for use in people 12 years of age and older and has fewer overall safety concerns.

The US pharmaceutical company said in mid-January that test-tube studies suggest Paxlovid should remain effective against Omicron.

Other treatments for Covid-19, such as monoclonal antibodies from Regeneron and Eli Lilly, have been shown to be ineffective against Omicron. The US Food and Drug Administration restricted their use earlier this week.

The Omicron strain has many mutations, especially in the dot mutant protein on the surface of the virus and is the key to entering human cells. As a result, some treatments are no longer effective for the variant.

But antivirals do not target proteins, which means they should be variant proof and encourage confidence in the drug’s long-term effectiveness, including against future variants.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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