Molnupiravir is said to completely block SARS-CoV-2 infection
In the last few days there has been a lot of positive news about a new corona vaccine that must be available immediately. A team of American researchers is now reporting another success in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic: It appears that the team has developed an antiviral drug that completely prevents transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus within 24 hours.
Researchers at Georgia State University in Atlanta, USA, report a major breakthrough in coronavirus drug research. The oral drug MK-4482 / EIDD-2801, also called molnupiravir, should completely block SARS-CoV-2 transmission within 24 days. The results of the study are presented in the well-known journal “Nature Microbiology”.
Originally developed to fight the influenza virus
The working group led by Professor Dr. Richard Plemper actually wanted to develop an influenza antiviral drug against seasonal flu. Due to the severity of the global coronavirus pandemic, the team changed the target into an active ingredient targeting the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus – with success!
Truly “game changer”
“This is the first evidence of an orally available drug that rapidly blocks SARS-CoV-2 transmission,” Plemper stressed. Molnupiravir could change the course of a pandemic, the professor said proudly. The disruption of local SARS-CoV-2 transmission is of the utmost importance for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Three benefits of molnupiravir
According to the research team, the drug is said to have a threefold benefit. On the one hand, its active ingredients can inhibit the development of serious diseases. On the other hand, shorten the infection phase and the quarantine time. In addition, molnupiravir can be used to break the chain of infection in local outbreaks.
Broad-spectrum activity against respiratory RNA viruses
“We found early on that MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 had broad-spectrum activity against respiratory RNA viruses and that treating animals infected with the drug decreased the number of viral particles released by several fold and thus dramatically reduced transmission”, explains head of research. These properties make molnupiravir a strong candidate for pharmacological control of COVID-19.
Weasels simulate spreading in young adults
The drug has been successfully tested on ferrets. “We believe that civets are a relevant model of transmission because they spread SARS-CoV-2 easily, but do not usually develop serious disease,” added Dr. Robert Cox of the research team. This is similar to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in young adults.
The researchers placed civets infected with uninfected animals in the same enclosure. The uninfected animals first received the active ingredient MK-4482 / EIDD-2801. “None of the contacts were infected,” stressed Josef Wolf, a doctoral student from the working group. In contrast, all animals in the placebo group became infected.
Human tests are still pending
If molnupiravir works in the same way in humans as ferrets, people with COVID-19 will not be contagious again within 24 hours of ingesting it. These will now be tested in phase II / III clinical studies.
There is no information about side effects and effect duration
When taking medication, side effects, duration of action and duration of treatment are of particular concern. Since the drug has so far only been tested on animals such as raccoons and mice, there is still no reliable information on this. (vb)
Author and source of information
This text conforms to the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been reviewed by a medical professional.
Volker Blasek’s Diploma-Editor (FH)
- Cox, RM, Wolf, JD & Plemper, RK Therapeutically administered ribonucleoside analogue MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 blocks transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in ferrets. Nat Microbiol (2020)., Doi.org
- Georgia State University: Oral Drug Block Transmission SARS-CoV-2, Georgia State Biomedical Science Researchers Find (veröffentlicht: 03.12.2020), news.gsu.edu
This article is for general guidance only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He cannot replace a visit to the doctor.