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Hope as new COVID-19 Pill (Molnupiravir) clinical trial shows reduced risk of hospitalization and death

Eswatini Daily News
05 October 2021

A new pill produced by Merck and Ridgeback’s called Molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by about 50 percent compared to placebo for patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 during trial of the drug.

The Government of Australia has purchased 300 000 doses of the drug. The Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison announced that “If the medical experts at the TGA approve this treatment for use, it will join other Covid-19 treatments such as sotrovimab and remdesivir which are already available to Australian doctors to help treat those with Covid-19.” Remdesivir is a drug that Eswatini King Mswati III highly recommended when he disclosed that he got infected by the COVID-19 virus. Molnupiravir is a capsule taken twice a day for five days by patients with mild to moderate infection.

According to Wendy Holman, chief executive officer of Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, “with the virus continuing to circulate widely, and because therapeutic options currently available are infused and/or require access to a healthcare facility, antiviral treatments that can be taken at home to keep people with COVID-19 out of the hospital are critically needed.“ We are very encouraged by the results from the
interim analysis and hope molnupiravir, if authorized for use, can make a profound impact in controlling the pandemic. Our partnership with Merck is critical to ensuring rapid global access if this medicine is approved, and we appreciate the collaborative effort to reach this important stage of development.”

Merck plans to submit an application for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as soon as possible based on these findings. They also plan to submit marketing applications to other regulatory bodies worldwide.

In the study, “all patients had laboratory-confirmed mild-to-moderate COVID-19, with symptom onset within 5 days of study randomization. All patients were required to have at least one risk factor associated with poor disease outcome at study entry. Molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization and/or death across all key subgroups; efficacy was not affected by timing of symptom onset or underlying risk factor. ‘’

The Phase 3 portion of the MOVe-OUT trial were conducted globally, including in more than 170 planned sites in countries including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, Guatemala, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Source: www.merck.com and news.com.au

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